A diverse team of scientists is sent on a cosmic expedition. Their mission: to find a planet suitable for human life. In the course of their expedition, they stumble upon an unknown planet, inhabited by aliens who call their planet Mundus. The scientists start exploring: what is gravity like here, and what about seasons? Is the local wildlife dangerous? How does the alien language work? And what do those yellow triangles mean? Expedition Mundus is a new classroom game, in which students explore an unknown planet. To do that, they will have to collect information, exchange data, and publish conclusions: in short, they will have to work like a team of scientists. The game covers questions about language, natural sciences, mathematics and social sciences and may be used in classes about any school subject. The game was made by The Young Academy (Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences) and De Praktijk. With Expedition Mundus, a teacher can introduce the essence of science to students in one hour. The game is available for free and is already being used in over 1500 schools of all educational levels. We explicitly aim to reach all kids, not just kids who may go on to be scientists themselves. We believe that everyone should learn about science, because it plays such an important role in the world they live in. This way, we help bridge the gap between higher-educated and lowereducated people in our society. Expedition Mundus was originally made for students from 10-14, but it is being played by a much wider age range. Key factors in reaching all educational levels and a broad age range are: - no pre-existing knowledge is required to play - the game is adaptive in terms of the cognitive effort required from players - the information is not presented in a separate layer that can be skipped; when you know how to play the game, you have learned about science - extensive lesson ideas and tips for teachers. The original Expedition Mundus is available in Dutch, both in physical form (game boxes) and digitally (pdf files). In early 2014, the game is translated into English and made available internationally at no charge for further translations. Many scientists have contributed to Mundus with their expertise, including but not limited to Prof. dr. E.A. Crone (Leiden University), Prof. dr. T.J.A.M. van Gog (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. dr. M.J.T.H. Goumans (Leiden University Medical Center) and Dr. A. Sluijs (Utrecht University).

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Expedition mundus – A game introducing the essence of science to a very broad range of school children

Alex Verkade De Praktijk   Science Communication and Education, Netherlands

Caspar Geraerts De Praktijk   Science Communication and Education - VU University, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Netherlands

Charlotte Vlek De Praktijk   Science Communication and Education - University of Groningen, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Netherlands

Miranda Jansen De Praktijk   Science Communication and Education, Netherlands Yuri Matteman - De Praktijk, Science Communication and Education, Netherlands

Maarten Kleinhans   Universiteit Utrecht, Faculty of Geosciences, Netherlands

A diverse team of scientists is sent on a cosmic expedition. Their mission: to find a planet suitable for human life. In the course of their expedition, they stumble upon an unknown planet, inhabited by aliens who call their planet Mundus. The scientists start exploring: what is gravity like here, and what about seasons? Is the local wildlife dangerous? How does the alien language work? And what do those yellow triangles mean? Expedition Mundus is a new classroom game, in which students explore an unknown planet. To do that, they will have to collect information, exchange data, and publish conclusions: in short, they will have to work like a team of scientists. The game covers questions about language, natural sciences, mathematics and social sciences and may be used in classes about any school subject. The game was made by The Young Academy (Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences) and De Praktijk. With Expedition Mundus, a teacher can introduce the essence of science to students in one hour. The game is available for free and is already being used in over 1500 schools of all educational levels. We explicitly aim to reach all kids, not just kids who may go on to be scientists themselves. We believe that everyone should learn about science, because it plays such an important role in the world they live in. This way, we help bridge the gap between higher-educated and lowereducated people in our society. Expedition Mundus was originally made for students from 10-14, but it is being played by a much wider age range. Key factors in reaching all educational levels and a broad age range are: - no pre-existing knowledge is required to play - the game is adaptive in terms of the cognitive effort required from players - the information is not presented in a separate layer that can be skipped; when you know how to play the game, you have learned about science - extensive lesson ideas and tips for teachers. The original Expedition Mundus is available in Dutch, both in physical form (game boxes) and digitally (pdf files). In early 2014, the game is translated into English and made available internationally at no charge for further translations. Many scientists have contributed to Mundus with their expertise, including but not limited to Prof. dr. E.A. Crone (Leiden University), Prof. dr. T.J.A.M. van Gog (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. dr. M.J.T.H. Goumans (Leiden University Medical Center) and Dr. A. Sluijs (Utrecht University).

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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