Learning Blade introduces the student to STEM technologies and career opportunities through an entertaining game-based format. In this system, the student pursues engaging missions that solve a problem such as helping an injured dolphin, building an orphanage after a major earthquake, or solving energy and transportation needs in a new city. Students can select missions from our ever-growing library.
To complete the mission, students must earn tools and the assistance of teammates that correspond to various STEM activities and careers. To earn these students must complete short activities that expose the students to interesting aspects of STEM.
Each mission includes a complete toolbox of interactive lessons, hands-on projects, design thinking activities, 3D printing and coding resources and parent engagement activities.
Learning Blade's twelve Missions show students how STEM careers and technologies help to solve people and community-center problems. The student follows the problem described in the mission narrative and completes activities that earn points towards completing his or her mission.
In order to complete the mission a student must earn both Tools and Teammates. These tools and teammates relate to STEM technologies and STEM careers and are designed to spark the interest of students. A leader board shows scores by team or class to create competition and encourage good performance by students.
Teachers may also use individual activities to highlight specific careers or academic skills.
Interacitve Lessons introduce students to a STEM career or technology and demonstrate the relevance of academic skills in solving interesting problems. Each activity is categorized by appropriate grade levels and by the subjects English, mathematics, social studies and science. Teachers can search the library of activities by subject, keywords, academic context or academic standard and assign specific lessons to students or classes.
Students read about the career or activity while answering questions and solving problems that show how the career or activity uses middle school skills to solve mission-related problems. They earn points by answering the problems correctly. Meanwhile, the system records answers to each question and relates the results to specific academic standards for later analysis in reports available to teachers.
Classroom and Hands-On Activities
The Mission Challenges promote dynamic problem-solving skills by taking what they’ve observed from the industry careers showcased in Learning Blade missions and using this to solve similar problems for themselves. These in-class exercises are designed for both individual instruction and group learning.
Design Thinking Exercises allow students to create products or solutions related to the missions using a 5-step design thinking processes. These allow students to use their own creativity in proposing solutions to meaningful problems and are normally conducted in a team format.
Parent Exercises are downloadable handouts designed to foster conversations at home. Each exercise includes simple questions that anyone can answer, additional career-related questions that require simple online research, and additional simple home experiments.
3D Printing and Coding Resources
For schools with 3D printers, we have created 3D Maker Quests that align with our 12 Missions. These include printing a rolling car for testing on ramps, adjusting a wind turbine design, printing shapes that students can program using icon-based programming methods, designing a prosthetic hand and testing a structure on a seismic shake table. These combine STEM skills by utilizing the printed objects to conduct experiments and design challenges.
Coding Exercises include lessons plans for teaching basic coding concepts using Code.org resources coupled with hands-on classroom activities that demonstrate fundamental programming concepts.
See the results you can get with Learning Blade here!