The Magic of AR, A Super Summer Day of Educational Play

Purdue GERI Kindergarten Augmented Reality Game

There are many benefits to working for Explore Interactive:  the culture, the team, the drive to create a product that will push the boundaries of augmented reality; these all reasons why I am proud to label myself as an Explorer.  In my opinion, however,  stemming from being a professional educator, the best part about Explore Interactive is working with kids!

A “Super Summer” Day at Purdue

This summer, our team partnered with a program connected to Purdue’s College of Education. Each year, the Gifted Ed. Resource Institute (GERI)  hosts “Super Summer,” which is a program where bright students in kindergarten through fourth grade come to enjoy challenging courses with other academically, creatively, and artistically talented youth.  Throughout the day, the program participants played through the Explore! educational games to learn physical science concepts and have fun while they did it.

As Explore!’s content creator and a classroom teacher, I was intrigued by the kindergarten students’ interaction with a program designed for students in 3rd-6th grade. These young Explorers were still able to navigate the app, complete the challenges with minor assistance, and have fun while learning.  The magic behind augmented reality kept the GERI participants engaged and wondering when the next round of challenges would be complete and uploaded to the App Store.

Our observations

Throughout the day, different groups of GERI Super Summer students rotated through varying stations and activities. The Explore! mobile game was integrated with a physical experiment facilitated by doctoral candidates from Purdue’s College of Engineering. In this rotation, students designed and developed circuits using Play-Doh. It was great to hear from these subject matter experts that the students were coming into their Play-Doh circuit activity, after completing the Explore challenges, were more capable and outperforming their peers who had not completed the Explore! educational games yet.  Helping five and six-year-old learners understand energy and circuits…as a teacher, I will count this as a productive day!

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