Gaming as a Platform for Developing Science Practices

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Gaming, an integral part of many students’ lives outside school, can provide an engaging platform for focusing students on important disciplinary core concepts as an entry into developing students’ understanding of these concepts through science practices. This article highlights how S’cape can be used to support student learning aligned with the most recent standards documents. Through combining students’ initial engagement in a motivating gaming experience with a two-experiment scaffolded inquiry sequence enhanced with information literacy-targeted homework, this article reveals how support can be offered for asking questions, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations, and engaging in argument from evidence to refine understandings of core concepts. We believe that as science teachers strive to explore important concepts with students through allowing them to actually practice science, games such as S’cape strategically leveraged and sequenced with scaffolded inquiry experiences can support these efforts.