Nevada Schools to Pilot New Game-Based STEAM Platform
Planet3, a year-old company
that has developed a new digital platform intended to use the Earth as
laboratory" will undergo pilot testing at 25 middle schools in six
districts in Nevada this fall as part of an early adopter pilot program.
Among those will be the Clark
County School District, which encompasses Las Vegas and is
the state's largest
Using the Planet3 platform,
students will be
immersed in games designed to use
data from NASA, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other research sources to learn real-world
that meshes with the Next
Generation Science Standards. The intention is
to encourage students
to gather evidence and craft conclusions through the use of data
instance, students can play the role of a storm chaser to
track and predict the path of a tornado. Another mission will take
deep into an Icelandic volcano to learn about earthquakes, tectonic
other elements unique to the island's natural environment.
least eight online and in-person professional development
training sessions have been planned to help teachers use the tool. The
and districts will offer their feedback throughout the year on the
which is expected to go into wide distribution in fall 2017.
was founded by a group headed by Tim Kelly, who for 30
years was president of the National Geographic Society. It started out
million in seed funding from the Nevada-based Switch, which developed
Supernap Data Centers. Switch recently invested an additional $3
is an advanced storytelling platform for STEAM
[science, technology, engineering, art and math]," Kelly said. "It is
by a powerful software developed specifically for schools striving to
advantage of new technology."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.