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Educators from Hampton Roads public and private schools and from the Virginia Department of Education will get serious about computer game playing at a workshop Tuesday, April 24, sponsored by the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and NASA Langley Research Center.

Participants at the daylong "Game-Based Learning Workshop: Technology-Based Tools for Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century" will hear a roster of speakers and play several computer games designed to be fun, but also teach algebra, moon geology, immunology and other subjects.

The workshop will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the VMASC facility in northern Suffolk. For more information, contact Alicia Sanchez, a VMASC researcher, at 638-6560 or adsanche@odu.edu.

Michael McGinnis, executive director of VMASC, said the workshop supports the broad initiative of the state of Virginia to integrate information technology into Virginia schools. "This effort, coupled with the Commonwealth's investment in modeling and simulation, will help prepare the next-generation workforce for knowledge-based jobs that are critical to Virginia's future, its economic growth and development, and its ability to create high-tech jobs," he said.

Sanchez, who joined VMASC last year, is an expert in serious gaming and is heading up a research cluster in that field. She and Debbie Denise Reese of Wheeling Jesuit University and Michelle Lucey-Roper, the learning technologies project manager for the Federation of American Scientists, will conduct most of the workshop. Games they will demonstrate include Dimenxian, Immune-Attack, Game Maker's Apprentice and Selene.

Roseann Runte, the president of ODU, Stephen Jurczyk, deputy director of NASA Langley and Thomas Pinelli of the NASA Langley Research Center will also take part in the program.

VMASC is an enterprise center of Old Dominion University and a prime training and research component of Hampton Roads' $500-million-a-year industry in modeling, simulation and visualization.

This article was posted on: April 20, 2007

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