Gamification – A pathway into Earth Science and Resources Career Awareness

Urbaniak, Suzy1

1CoRE Learning Foundation, Perth, Australia

Have you ever wondered how to make your Earth Science curriculum interesting, relevant, and loaded with 21st-century enterprising skills such as leadership, communication, and collaboration whilst engaging in an interdisciplinary and assessable format? The answer is gamification. It is a well-known fact that young students interest lies in being active, problem-solving learners, who want to explore and discover their learning experience in real-time and be an integral and informed member of an innovative and creative situation.

Australia’s resources industry is a key driver of our economic growth, however student understanding and progression into the industry are at an unprecedented low point. It’s never been more important for Australia’s future to create this awareness and expose our students to the beauty of earth science and the diverse, STEM career pathways into the resources industry.

The resources industry recognises that meaningful K-12 engagement highlighting its’ innovation and contribution to mainstream society is vital to strengthening STEM capabilities across the sector. To appreciate and develop an understanding and career passion for the resources industry, learning needs to commence early and be engaging, continuing, purposeful and applicable.

The scope and sequence of this proposal begins in Year 5 and continues through middle school to Year 10, assessable, and correlating with the ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority) curriculum. This opportunity creates and delivers sustainable, engaging, and impactful 3D resources-based gamification learning products, utilising an Earth Science context but also integrating and extending other scientific disciplines, data literacy and science, the design and digital technology, and social value through the humanities curriculums.

Gaming technology is hands-on, interactive learning which is both available and enjoyable to engage both the educator and the student, taking them on a #therealclassroom journey, with immersive, real-world experiences. More importantly, gamification learning has the potential to reach the full spectrum of remote and regional communities in which the resources industry operates, thereby helping to ensure that the learning experiences are inclusive and representative of the industry’s footprint.

The proposal for a Year 6 and a Year 8 pilot program is progressing from concept through to development and is scheduled for release in semester two 2021 for trialing, nationally through pilot schools. Educating the educator through this student-centered, project-based learning scenario is a priority for the project team. Unlike, other STEM initiatives that tend to be extracurricular or ‘bolt-ons’, this gamification initiative is integrated and aligned with the national curricula. Its STEM learning format encompasses the ACARA’s General Capabilities, Aboriginal Framework, and Cross-Curricula priorities.

The gamification project will enhance students’ STEM capabilities and will serve as a vital link between learning and the creation of viable talent pools for the industry to draw upon. This adaptive learning platform will be organic and progressive and shaped through the collaboration of industry, game developers, and educators to ensure that the material and experiential learning experience will remain relevant, interesting fun and meaningful, for all community members to enjoy, engage and learn from.


Biography

Suzy is a geologist who became an educator. She developed the CoRE Learning Model (CLM) to promote Earth Science education and resources career awareness. In 2017, she co-founded the CoRE Learning Foundation, to support CoRE Expansion. In 2016, Suzy received the Prime Minister’s Secondary Science Teaching Award for the CLM.

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.

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