Whole-body activity helps students retain STEM knowledge.

ASU’s Embodied Games for Learning Lab marries digital technology with physical movement to create innovative, mixed-reality games that help middle school students learn STEM concepts.
Photo by: Lucas Stewart

Recent stories by WIRED and CBS 5 News in Phoenix featured cutting-edge educational research by Mina Johnson-Glenberg, director of Arizona State University’s Embodied Games for Learning Lab. The ASU learning scientist has developed “mixed-reality” games that get kids doing arm circles, jumping jacks and dance moves to learn science-related subjects using whole-body activity that helps knowledge retention.

“What we have found is that when students are active or moving while learning, they retain the information longer,” said Johnson-Glenberg to CBS 5. “Along with learning things via symbols or numbers, you’re also learning with the sensory motor input that you’re getting from moving the body.”

According to WIRED, the learning lab focuses on creating games in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and health science using gesture-based learning and exergaming, or games that incorporate exercise. Kids play the games in pairs using Microsoft Xbox Kinect, which senses body movement and displays their actions on a screen.

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