A Tangible Serious Game Approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

Riccardo Berta, Francesco Bellotti, Erik van der Spek, Thomas Winkler


The chapter's idea stems from the observation that technology is difficult to learn in an abstract way (books, lectures, etc.) and practical activities are needed not only to apply concepts but also to help learning itself. This is particularly challenging in a younger age where this concern is often neglected frequently, leading to poor instruction, if any. However, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics typically involve facts and concepts that could be effectively implemented and/or shown through smart objects according to the Internet-of-Things paradigm. Such objects, we called ``iBlocks,'' could be manipulated by young learners to study various types of phenomena/artifacts and compose new aggregations (reflecting -- at a younger age -- the experience of the ``Makers'' now successful in world-leading technological universities). The presented idea is to build an environment consisting of physical objects enhanced with sensing, computing, and communicating capabilities in order to support advanced and multimodal/multisensory interaction. An important aspect is that the environment supports the definition of game rules, so that users are stimulated and invited in educational paths involving guided exploration, competition, and collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Digital Games and Entertainment Technologies
EditorsRyohei Nakatsu, Matthias Rauterberg, Paolo Ciancarini
Number of pages22
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Publication date12.02.2016
ISBN (Print)978-981-4560-52-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4560-52-8
Publication statusPublished - 12.02.2016


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