Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-042513-111837

Document Typethesis
Author NameLeach, Owen S
TitleParallel Hearts Mathematics Game: Using Educational Games To Address the STEM Field Gender Gap
DepartmentInteractive Media and Game Development
  • Jennifer deWinter, Advisor
  • Keith Zizza, Committee Member
  • Dean O'Donnell, Committee Member
  • Janice Gobert, Reader
  • Keywords
  • serious games
  • games
  • STEM
  • science
  • technology
  • engineering
  • mathematics
  • interactive
  • media
  • game
  • development
  • gender
  • gap
  • education
  • educational game
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2013-04-24
    Availability unrestricted


    Despite equal educational opportunities, a gender gap develops in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field amongst American adults. This is caused by various societal factors including pressure for females to pursue more “feminine” careers, biased grading systems, and a vicious cycle of mathematics teaching. Even though females score as well as males on standardized tests, during their middle school years there is a steep drop off in females interested in pursuing STEM careers. This project attempts to close this gap by creating interest in mathematics during these students’ most formidable years through the use of computer games. Parallel Hearts, a 2D puzzle game designed to teach mathematics to 7th grade students, is examined and successfully tested in a classroom setting to show that female players of this age can be targeted and interest can be created in the STEM field.

  • Leach_ParallelHeartsMathematicsGame.pdf

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