Calculus is critical for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. But 38 percent of students drop out of it, according to the Mathematical Association of America. So the Bryan, Texas-based made a game to help students retain the concepts better. Triseum is the latest among many game companies and education firms to try their hand at creating “edutainment,” or educational games that are good for children.
The company hopes to avoid the mistake of making “chocolate-covered broccoli,” said André Thomas, CEO of Triseum, in a recent interview with GamesBeat. The calculus game helps get across complex concepts to students in a visual way, which can be much easier to grasp than a textbook.
“Calculus is fundamental to STEM careers, yet research tells us that Calculus is explicitly tied to attrition in STEM degrees. The results we are seeing across Calculus courses are disheartening,” said Thomas, in a statement. “As an industry, we need to do more to motivate and engage students in this fundamental subject, as well as increase success rates – our Variant series does just that. Presenting students with innovative, self-directed activities means they play a more active role in the education experience and connect with content on a deeper level, thereby inspiring them to go further. Variant brings Calculus to life for students by transforming abstract ideas into creative and visually engaging challenges. It increases opportunities to collaborate and can measurably improve outcomes.”
Triseum’s founders came from the Texas A&M University’s Live Lab, developing academic games that incorporate standard learning and gaming design methods. Working closely with Texas A&M to ensure the Variant series is well researched, executed and tested, educators and gaming veterans have created an experience whereby students don’t just memorize and regurgitate information, but rather apply it for a more well-rounded understanding. The company won an Impact award last week from the Texas Motion Picture Association.
Developed to transform the process of learning calculus into a three-dimensional visual and relatable experience, Variant: Limits focuses on the concepts of finite limits, continuity and infinite limits. Students use their experiences within the game to construct and retain Calculus knowledge, and they gain immediate feedback on their performance. Learning is reported via the instructor portal so faculty know exactly how a student is grasping and applying information.
Triseum recently raised $1.43 million to build educational games. It recent released ARTé: Mecenas, which teaches students how to appreciate art and the business of art during the Renaissance. The game is coming on the PC first, with mobile after that.