Making a Splash with Iridescent: New Science Learning Games

Fresh from the science experts at Iridescent, the first in a series of exciting new apps, the Fluid Ether, just hit the app store. Collectively called Ethers, the science games are designed to engage middle school students in learning about intangible systems in the natural world. Future apps in the series will include games about Gravity, Momentum, Projectiles, Light, and Electricity, and all will be available for free download from the App Store or IridescentLearning.org.

We’re thrilled to partner with Iridescent, a non-profit dedicated to science and technology education, to support classroom integration of the powerful Ethers games – playtesting the games at Quest to Learn and developing free resources for teachers including discussion starters, homework prompts, sample grading rubrics, and lab manuals.

In the Fluid Ether, the open-ended structure of each level allows students to personalize and direct their learning by setting their own goals in addition to game-provided goals. Players can also create and edit their own levels, to demonstrate understanding and synthesis of concepts. While the classroom plays, data collected to measure student learning is made visible to teachers through an accompanying teacher dashboard.

“We had a simple design goal – to embed the learning into the actual mechanics of the games. Instead of applying arbitrary rules, we developed rules for the games that reflect real-world phenomena. Players will encounter scientific concepts in Ethers like how physics particles combine and how fluids move when pushed,” said Dr. Kevin Miklasz, Director of Digital Learning for Iridescent.

With the games’ availability, flexibility and professional development support, the Fluid Ether, and the Ether series as a whole, provides an opportunity for science teachers to easily bring educational games into their classrooms.

Development of the Ethers series was made possible through grants from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust and the Office of Naval Research. Games in the series were co-designed by Iridescent and Robot Super Brain.

Make sure to join our community to keep up to date on future Ethers releases. To learn more from Iridescent about the Ethers professional development sessions and other Ethers game related news, join the Ethers newsletter.