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SURGE Research Activities
To achieve our core research goals, we are creating a physics curriculum centered on the use of a simulation-based computer game designed to teach students basic physics concepts. The focus of the game is to help students learn and apply some of the basic principles of Newtonian mechanics and other associated principles of non-relativistic motion. Students will learn by interacting with the SURGE environment and then transferring this knowledge to the real world.
SURGE research will operate at three interacting levels of scaffolding to address the SURGE learning goals. The first level focuses on highlighting the salience of core physics concepts and interactions in underlying game design and mechanics. The second level focuses on game interface design, in terms of structuring and linking interface representations based on cognitive processing principles that support students in distinguishing, understanding, and articulating core physics concepts and interactions. In later phases of the research, SURGE will shift focus to include a third level that examines structuring social scaffoldes to facilitate articulation and evaluation of the core physics concepts being learned.