In partnership with The University of Nebraska’s IANR Science Literacy Program, Move Creative built a custom educational game to teach elementary students how corn plant traits affect the harvest.
Named SPROUT it is an acronym for Selecting Plants Requires Our Understanding of Traits and was originally conceived as a physical game that was used in classrooms. In an effort to expand the program, a web-based alternative was added and is interspersed with quiz and comprehension questions to determine its success. In this game, the student is a farmer who is trying to grow as much popcorn as possible. How much popcorn their plants are able to produce is affected by the traits selected and the popcorn variety created. Included in this is an added challenge of creating a corn that will function best in the environment where it is planted. These include real-world locations in the Midwest, including Western Nebraska.
Once a location is selected the corn is planted and the user will go through a growing season facing insects, other pests and variable weather conditions, all of which affect their harvest. They play this portion of the game against a virtual opponent who is facing the same conditions with a corn that has different traits.
The game is currently available at http://movecreativelabs.com/sprout/ but will be moved to a permanent location soon.