Throughout the country, Canadians are finding interesting and unique ways to celebrate Canada’s 150 anniversary of confederation. As a proud recipient of Canada 150 project funding from the Government of Canada, MindFuel created a new digital learning resource about Canada’s great inventions and innovations. The new Wonderville.org game was launched June 20 (French version) and June 21 (English version) with students across Canada participating in webinars, being some of the first to ever play Mission: Maple Leaf.
“Thank you to Canadian Heritage for giving MindFuel the opportunity to share scientifically important content with Canadian students in honour of Canada 150,” said Cassy Weber, MindFuel CEO. “On the world stage, Canadian innovations and inventions have made great contributions making our lives healthier, easier, safer, more fun and more interesting. Canadian ingenuity and curiosity is something we want to instill in today’s students so they can become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.”
Mission: Maple Leaf is an interactive, bi-lingual, multi-level, digital educational game that pays tribute to some of the many Canadian scientific achievements. It takes users on a journey across time and space. After receiving a distress signal from a far off planet, the player, alongside a cheeky little Robot named Ed, must complete a series of puzzles which take a trip through some of Canada’s greatest scientific and technological achievements. The game uncovers how Indigenous People overcame the challenges of how to farm in Canada’s climate and how to communicate and trade without a common spoken language. It shows the ingenuity of Canadian people across the fields of health/medicine, transportation, communications and agriculture, as well as Canada’s contributions to space exploration and how young Canadians are impacting our world.
“We involved students throughout the development process,” said Brent Bawel, MindFuel senior program manager. “This included testing our proof of concept, and alpha and beta builds of the game. Each time we were looking for feedback and observations from the students to help us create an engaging game and reduce barriers to their learning. For example, their contributions included selecting the design of the robot and providing feedback on the difficulty level of the games. The game was tested in both French and English languages, the students were from grades 4,5 and 7 classrooms.”
The goal of the project is to inspire students to engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and pursue STEM-related careers.
- Target audience for the game is grades 4 through 9
- It took six months to develop the game
- Development used the theme of “problem solving through technology” (gr 1-6 curriculum). It supports the overall curriculum goal to “enable students to use science and technology to acquire new knowledge and solve problems, so that they may improve the quality of their own lives and the lives of others” (gr 7-12 curriculum)
- Funding partners: Canadian Heritage, Alberta Innovates and the Government of Alberta
- Delivered in both official languages: English and French (http://wonderville.org/c150en and http://wonderville.org/c150fr)
- User testing was conducted at three partner schools – grades 4, 5 & 7
- Renert School, Calgary, AB (English)
- Madeleine d’Houet School, Calgary, AB (French)
- Chiila Elementary School, Tsuut’ina Nation (English)
- Launch partner: Partners in Research