Participatory Media for Science Education

Winner of Student Choice Award at the Serious Games Competition for Particles in a Box, A Quantum Mechanics Game, NTSA's I/ITSEC Conference, December 2015

The theory of Quantum Mechanics (QM) provides a foundation for many fields of science and engineering; however, its abstract nature and technical difficulty make QM a challenging subject for students to approach and grasp. This is partly because complex mathematical concepts involved in QM are difficult to visualize for students and the existing visualization are minimal and limited. We propose that many of these concepts can be communicated and experienced through interactive visualizations and games, drawing on the strengths and affordances of digital media. A game environment can make QM concepts more accessible and understandable by immersing students in nano-sized worlds governed by unique QM rules. Furthermore, replayability of games allows students to experience the probabilistic nature of QM concepts. We are developing a game and a series of interactive visualizations to provide students with an experiential environment to learn quantum mechanics.

Related publications and presentations:

[1] Rose Peng, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, and Nassim JafariNaimi “Interactive Visualizations for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Semiconductor Physics,” in the 2014 Frontiers in Education (FIE), (Madrid, Spain: IEEE 2014).

[2] Rose Peng, Mithila Tople, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi, “A Novel Interactive Paradigm for Teaching Quantum Mechanics,” in 11th annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (GLS11), (Wisconsin-Madison, USA).