Over $200,000 Spent By Fed Govt On a "Clean Water" Video Game

Federal government grants money for educational game
The NIH have awarded a small business $224,999 to create an educational (image courtesy of meadowlark)

The National Institute of Health has issued a grant of nearly $225,000 to Meadowlark, a small business in Montana which specializes in scientific and environmental games. The grant states that the purpose is to develop a “highly effective, marketable, and interactive educational video game (iEVG) that focuses on STEM topics and targets 5th and 6th grade students”, which then goes on to say that that is the age “at which interest in STEM subjects is developed or lost.”

The aim of the grant, it states, is to create an educational game made to increase the “awareness of the importance of clean water in human health.”

The Meadowlark website already boasts the creation of the game, titled Water Follies: STEM Edition, on their website. “You play as Clark Flyer, a meadowlark who works together with a diverse cast of lovable animal characters, to solve and correct environmental issues plaguing their town.”, the website states. “Clark’s goal is to convince the reluctant politicians in power that clean, lead-free drinking water should be everyone’s top priority.”

While this is the first fruits of this grant, it is likely not the last. The grant states that the long-term goal is “to produce growing libraries of educational video games with immersive graphics and audio, challenging gameplay, and a well-rounded delivery of STEM-focused educational content related to environmental health.”

These games, which are aimed towards young children, are becoming more and more popular. With 97% of all children age 2-17 playing video games, teachers are catching on, as research shows 74% of K-8 teachers use games as a part of their curriculum to “motivate students to learn.”

Although some may argue that video games in the classroom will distract children from learning, the children certainly aren’t complaining.

Ashley White is a kick-butt amazonian princess trapped in the body of a teenager, obsessed with video games, books, and the unfortunate pile of schoolwork she likes to bury herself in.
Gamer Since: 2006
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