The game, called ‘Magma Drillers Save Plant Earth’ was developed by UC Volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy and geological 3D visualisation expert Dr Jonathan Davidson with help from artists, digital experts and educators.
The game integrates storytelling, 3D software, video technology, holograms, comic art and geology to teach secondary school students about the inner workings of volcanoes and the role of geologists and engineers.
Dr Kennedy, who last year won
a New Zealand Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award for his inspiring and engaging teaching, says he is always looking for ways to make learning fun and more engaging for students.
“We can’t keep teaching the way we’ve always taught and expect our students to stay engaged – not when we’re competing with gaming technology and Hollywood special effects. As teachers we need to keep up and stay relevant – this game is just one of the ways we’re doing that.”
The project received $30,000 in funding from the Unlocking Curious Minds 2017 funding round, administered by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment. UC provided in-kind support through staff time, use of equipment and facilities.
The UC scientists hope to share the game with other schools, museums and educational centres around New Zealand.