Scaffolding Understanding by Redesigning Games for Education

The SURGE project focuses on the development of video games to support students’ articulation and connection of their evolving tacit intuitive understandings into larger explicit formalized structures allowing knowledge transfer and application across broader contexts relevant to Newtonian mechanics. Our research efforts center on developing and assessing design principles, and learning environments instantiating these principles, that integrate research on conceptual change, cognitive processing-based design, and socio-cognitive scripting.


The SURGE project is focusing its research efforts on three main goals:

  1. Increase 8th grade students’ understanding of Newtonian mechanics including core elements from the high school curriculum
  2. Retain the strong motivational components of current commercial game design
  3. Close achievement, motivation, and self-efficacy gaps among students with low prior success in science