Ubiquitous Games

Invasion of the Beasties Screen Shot

 The Ubiquitous Games label consists of several different projects: games such as Weatherlings, the first game created under this particular platform, as well as the UbiqBio project, which features four games that teach various topics in high school intro biology classes.

Virtual Microbe

Education Arcade staff is working with MIT professor Roman Stocker, from the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, to develop a single-player Flash game in which one plays as a nanotechnologist tasked with populating dead zones in the ocean. To do this, the player designs and produces nanobots that recreate the purpose of microbes as consumers and producers in an underwater ecosystem. Players run test simulations to see how their nanobots interact with each other. Each level introduces new goals and constraints (e.g., budget), as well as new science and engineering concepts.

CSI: Community Science Investigators

CSI Teacher and Students

CSI is a technology-based and community-focused after-school program. To explore issues in their community, students design and play augmented reality games, and use geospatial technologies. They then use that knowledge along with data they've collected to choose and implement a service learning project that impacts their community. Teachers act as facilitators in this inquiry-based learning environment.

StarLogo TNG

StarLogo TNG 1.5 splash screen

Version 1.5. Download it here

Curriculum Materials HERE

StarLogo TNG is The Next Generation of StarLogo modeling and simulation software. While this version holds true to the premise of StarLogo as a tool to create and understand simulations of complex systems, it also brings with it several advances - 3D graphics and sound, a blocks-based programming interface, and keyboard input - that make it a great tool for programming educational video games.

Through TNG we hope to:

  1. Lower the barrier to entry for programming with a graphical interface where language elements are represented by colored blocks that fit together like puzzle pieces.
  2. Entice more young people into programming through tools that facilitate making games.
  3. Use 3D graphics to make more compelling and rich games and simulation models.


Lure of the Labyrinth

Lure of the Labyrinth Employee Lounge

Lure of the Labyrinth is an on-line puzzle adventure game, designed to promote math and literacy learning, and is targeted at middle-school students. The product of a collaboration between The Education Arcade, Maryland Public Television, and Fablevision, Johns Hopkins University, and Macro International, the development of Lure of the Labyrinth was orignally funded by the U.S. Department of Education through a Star Schools grant. In 2011, The Education Arcade received additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under a Next Generation Learning Challenges Grant to examine the collaborative potentional of team-play and the in-game messaging system.  During the spring of 2011, more than 25,000 students world-wide participated in the Lure of the Labyrinth Challenge. Nearly 15,000 of those participants were based in US classrooms.
Play Lure of the Labyrinth

The Radix Endeavor

The Radix Endeavor is a multiplayer online game for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning in high school.

The game is funded by the Gates Foundation, and under development at the MIT Education Arcade in collaboration with Filament Games. The initial phase will cover topics in biology, algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics, providing students with a collaborative, social experience in a systems-based game world where they can explore how the world works and discover important scientific concepts.  

Play The Radix Endeavor!



A TaleBlazer script programmed with blocks.

TaleBlazer is a new rich Internet application from MIT's STEP lab to author smartphone location-based augmented reality (AR) games. Announced during summer '11 and demo'ed for the first time at CSCL in Hong Kong, it will break new ground in location-based AR game building. Features will include:

  • Visual blocks-based scripting - prevents syntax errors, while enabling programming of rich interactivity.
  • Interactive data layers and sampling - create models for player exploration and discovery of thought provoking scientific topics.
  • Conditional dialog creator - interact with characters in new ways; no more single-track conversations
  • No local installation - the TaleBlazer Game Maker will be entirely web-based for easier implementation in schools and elsewhere
  • Save to cloud, download to smartphone - logon with your account, and have instant access to games from any computer attached to the Internet, then play from any iOS or Android smartphone with GPS.

Computer Programming Tools in Schools

Computer Programming Tools in Schools (CPTS) is a multi-language curriculum that uses ScratchStarLogo TNG, and Etoys to teach fundamental computer science concepts and programming skills in the context of homeland security-relevant topics including food safety and risk models. These three tools are beginner-friendly programming tools developed by different labs at MIT and University of Illinois but share a drag-and-drop graphical interface. The CPTS curriculum is designed for use in an introductory course for middle or high school students with no prior programming experience, with the goal of engaging students' interest in computer science and preparing them for further studies in this and related fields. All the activities are project-based and student-centered, using a variety of formats, including games, simulations, and interactive media.

StarLogo Nova

StarLogo Nova (www.slnova.org) is the new online iteration of StarLogo, following in StarLogo TNG's footsteps. StarLogo Nova builds upon TNG's innovations, with several language refinements and new features, including:

StarLogo Nova Turtle

Createedit, and run games and simulations right in the browser, no installation necessary.

Share projects in public galleries for the world to see.

Collaborate on projects with other users.

Incorporate your own sounds and Collada format 3D models into your projects.

Organize code more clearly, with all runtime code now placed on breed pages.

Program agent interactions more easily with new Detection blocks.
Customize your breeds with user-created traits like energy, health, lives, inventory, etc.

Easily work with hundreds of agents, even on older computers or Chromebooks.

With no predefined agent limits, create 10,000 agents or more on powerful computers.

MIT STEP is pleased to offer several professional development opportunities for this exciting new tool this summer. Check the Workshops page for more information.


Biograph - A Complex Systems Lens
What is Biograph?
Biograph is a collaborative learning opportunity based on an NSF-funded, multi-year research study being carried out by the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.The goal of Biograph is to improve introductory biology learning at the high school level by introducing complex systems topics as a unifying theme and encouraging students to interact with agent-based computer models designed to ‘bring to life’ complex systems ideas in biology. It is our hypothesis that this improved curriculum will, ultimately, better prepare students for college level instruction, and help to address common misconceptions in the biological sciences.