The Luck of the Draw: A Programmatic Description of a Game Designed to Promote Student Engagement and Critical Thinking Skills

Monday, January 1, 2018
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Games, Simulations, and Interactives, Professional Development and Workshops, K-12 Programs, Higher Education Programs
Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Educators/Teachers
Education and learning science | Engineering | Health and medicine | Life science
University of Nebraska, University of Nebraska Medical Center

We describe a game and teachers’ experiences using it in their middle and high school science courses. The game, which is called “Luck of the Draw,” was designed to engage middle, high school, and college students in genetics and encourage critical thinking about issues, such as genetic engineering. We introduced the game to high school science teachers attending a summer workshop and asked them to describe their initial impressions of the game and how they might use it in their classes; later, during the academic year, we asked them whether they used the game in their classrooms and, if so, how well it worked. We also asked middle and high school students about their experiences playing the game. Results indicated that teachers and students enjoyed the game and identified positive outcomes, including greater engagement and critical thinking. Further, the few potential problems that teachers initially thought might be encountered appeared to occur infrequently; ways to minimize these problems are discussed.

Publication Name: 
Journal of STEM Outreach

Team Members

Alicia BowerAlicia BowerAuthor
Kami L. TsaiKami L. TsaiAuthor
Carey S. RyanCarey S. RyanAuthor
Rebecca AndersonRebecca AndersonAuthor
Andrew JametonAndrew JametonAuthor

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