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All kids are born curious and naturally act as scientists from a very young age but sometimes this desire to learn can get lost, especially as children get older and there’s a disconnect between science concepts and real world examples. Suddenly a subject that your child was naturally drawn to is one they want to avoid and they’re not alone.
According to the National Math and Science Initiative, 32% of eight grade students performed at or above the proficient level in science in 2011. 36% of U.S. high school students were ready for college level courses upon graduation in 2013.
As parents, we know that there is a big push towards STEM subjects but how can we encourage our kids towards a subject that maybe wasn’t our favorite in school? Perhaps our personal lack of confidence in science affects our kids in a negative way and rather than fostering a love of the subject, they’re picking up on our cues and also shying away from it, just as we did.
President Obama has made STEM a priority as part of his presidency and this renewed interest has led to initiatives that challenge kids to think deeply and companies like Galxyz that wants to make science learning fun for middle school aged kids through Galxyz Blue Apprentice.
About Galxyz Blue Apprentice
Founded to address a negative trend in STEM education where U.S. school age children have been performing below proficient levels in science, Galxyz is like a digital “Choose Your Own Adventure” that builds science learning into interactive intergalactic adventure that will captivate your kids. Before the adventure begins, players customize the main character, Thalo, by choosing a male or female character, hairstyles, color of clothes, etc. for a more personal learning experience.
The game opens with a spaceship crashed in the snow. Black smoke drifts diagonally across the screen while snow falls lightly, drawing in players to the story.
Thalo then appears in the frame with a set of instructions to guide game play.
Once players are oriented to how to navigate through the game, they’re guided to part of the spaceship from which a brown flying squirrel creature emerges and hovers in the air above.
This strange creature named Grit speaks a language Thalo doesn’t understand but thanks to a small device, they begin communicating.
Through their communication, Grit provides important science based lessons through a series of episodes that are essential in helping it find a way home.
Benefits of Playing Galxyz
Parents who struggle with getting their kids off the computer should know that learning with Galxyz could become addictive in the best way. The company has done a fantastic job getting kids hooked on a story and then keeping them engaged in science thanks to Pixar animation and an interactive adventure that provides plenty of learning along the way.
Through Galxyz, kids are learning over 45 science topics that include physical, life, earth, and space science and are correlated to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Kids start by learning about Science Practices, then go on to Properties of Matter; Chemical Reactions; Interdependencies in Ecosystems, and beyond. There are dozens of science topics to learn and the company is dedicated to adding new content frequently.
This self-paced learning adventure is truly designed by each child since each decision they make alters the story. The highly individualized experience encourages mastery of elementary science concepts and develops scientific reasoning for elementary and middle school aged kids.
How to Get Galxyz
Families and teachers can try Galxyz for a week for free but there are benefits to subscribing. Monthly ($10.95/month), quarterly ($24.95 for 3 months), or annual ($74.95/year) subscriptions are available and unlock dozens of levels of gameplay in story mode.
Membership includes 100s of science activities, ability to play and save game progress across multiple devices, access new content added monthly, enjoy multiple levels of science topics, customize characters with a tool based on the Periodic Table of the Elements, and watch exclusive video content starting Galxyz characters through Galxyz Vids.
Galxyz Vids is an exclusive digital partnership with Popular Science designed to introduce groundbreaking science stories to kids ages 6-12. It features Popular Science articles and offers exclusive video content starring animated Galxyz characters. The microsite will also feature the latest news, breakthroughs and discoveries emerging in real time in the physical, life, Earth and space sciences, communicated via both brands’ signature educational, approachable style.
Galxyz is presenting science in a whole new way to an age group who can benefit from digital learning to keep them engaged in subject matter content. As a former teacher, I appreciate the correlation to NGSS standards and the thoughtful modules that present a wealth of science topics in relatable ways. I like that the game has built in ways for kids to check for understanding through periodic questions and seeks to reinforce learning in a natural way that makes sense to the narrative. Parents tired of their kids engaging in passive screen time will like that Galxyz is real learning that kids are doing when interacting with characters through the captivating narrative.
I was compensated for my time playing Galxyz and writing this post but all opinions are my own and based on personal experience.