The Science Game

The Science Game is an extracurricular activity I developed to teach students about how science really works. The game simulates the production of scientific knowledge by explicitly including a social feedback cycle. I presented the idea as a poster (linked below) at the AAPT summer meeting, 2014. Here’s the abstract:

Physics is at its most exciting when international teams are collaborating and competing to under-stand new ideas, but the social component of science has long been overlooked. Ford (2008) suggests that constructivist approaches to science education fall short unless they pair model con-struction with appropriate critique. I attempt to bring these together in The Science Game, an extra-curricular simulation of cutting-edge research. We asked students to investigate the properties of fat globules in milk, as seen under a microscope. The students developed knowledge claims based on Toulmin’s Argument Patterns (Erduran, Simon, & Osborne, 2004). These claims, along with the data and warrant, were distributed and critiqued using symposia, pre-prints, a journal, and informal communication. I will give an overview of the students’ work and evaluate the effectiveness of this approach for learning both knowledge and “grasp of practice” (Ford, 2008).