Document Type thesis Author Name Leach, Owen S URN etd-042513-111837 Title Parallel Hearts Mathematics Game: Using Educational Games To Address the STEM Field Gender Gap Degree MS Department Interactive Media and Game Development Advisors 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/Defense 2013-04-24 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.
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