PBS kids
Kid Insight

Educational virtual world scores high with underserved kids

A recent study has found that PBS Kids' new educational online game Mission to Planet 429 scored particularly high among underserved children aged six to eight.
February 23, 2011

A recent study has found that PBS Kids’ new educational online game Mission to Planet 429 scored particularly high among underserved children aged six to eight.

The controlled study, conducted by The Michael Cohen Group, found that children in 2nd and 3rd grade summer programs who played MP429 daily, experienced significant gains in learning content-specific vocabulary featured in the game. There was also a marked improvement in basic computer skills among this demographic.

Approximately 78% of the children tested were from lower-income families, a group the creators of MP429 were particularly eager to reach. The new 3D browser-based virtual world, conceived by The Directors Bureau’s Roman Coppola and funded in part by a US Department of Education Ready To Learn grant, was developed by WTTW (Chicago Public Media – Television & Interactive) and Nukotoys in partnership with school turnaround organization The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL).

The game recently launched on PBSKIDS.org and is designed to encourage informational/academic reading and improve computer literacy.

About The Author
Wendy is Kidscreen’s Associate Editor. When she’s not sourcing material for the brand's daily email newsletter, she’s researching, writing and connecting with others about the newest trends in digital media. Contact Wendy at wgoldman@brunico.com.

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