Sheffield studio releases world’s first educational augmented reality game

Educational publishing house Twinkl has released the details of the world’s first augmented reality (AR) game, aimed at educating children in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects.

‘ARchitect’ inroduces pupils to different material, structural integrity and construction. It can be played by up to four people and invites players to create structures using different materials (wood, ice, etc…) whilst attempting to complete challenges. It will be showcased later this month at the Bett education technology show in London.

Chief technology officer at Twinkl Pete Casson said: “ARchitect was inspired by the challenge often used in schools to build the tallest tower out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti. The game hasn’t been designed to replace such activities but to be used alongside them. The main benefit of using ‘ARchitect’ is that it allows children to build things that would otherwise be impossible, such as the biggest tower in the world made of wood or a bridge made entirely of ice, all in 3D.

“They can then experiment with how these structures withstand different weights and conditions and how the different materials interact. The game provides a foundation for the methods used in real-life construction and engineering, on the same scale and with the same materials. The game was created to provide an exhilarating experience, to inspire children to explore STEM subjects further in the future.”

The Sheffield-based company has already tested the technology in the classrooms. Casson continues: “Twinkl has explored AR in the classroom for some time now, seeing its potential as a technology that is becoming increasingly accessible, has a low cost, is easy to use and has huge scope in terms of how it can be used in lessons.

“We believe technology can be used to aid learning in all subject areas and alongside a range of teaching methods and styles. Twinkl always works with the teaching community on any product we design and we will continue to work with educators and children as we explore how augmented reality can be used to support teachers and enhance learning.”

‘ARchitect’ will be available to download for free via the Apple app store next week (21 January).

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