News at Concord Consortium

Can Games Enhance Genetics Learning?

GeniGames CharacterGenetics concepts are notoriously difficult to learn and teach. But does student motivation and learning change when you add gaming features to a science curriculum? We’re delighted to collaborate with the New York Hall of Science on a new grant from the National Science Foundation. GeniGames will add game-based design elements to our Geniverse curriculum so students can learn about dragon genetics!

Conflict. Players struggle to achieve goals or outcomes of the game, often in opposition to each other, but sometimes together or in parallel. (Conflict does not mean combat.)

Narrative. A story sets the game context with plot and characters in a fictional world. Ideally, the conflict provides the opportunity for the narrative events.

Play community. Players engage in social aspects of the game play that derive not from the rules of the game, but from activities that link the game to outside contexts.

Mixed-Reality Labs Integrate Sensors and Simulations

Thanks to a new grant from the National Science Foundation, we are partnering with the University of Virginia to design a set of mixed-reality laboratory activities that integrate sensors and simulations into high school chemistry and physics classes.

We are developing activities that use real-time data from a physical experiment to control a virtual experiment. As students interact with the sensor measurement in the physical experiment, a corresponding change in the virtual experiment takes place. Other activities challenge students to match the results measured by the sensors with the results computed by the simulations. Students alternate between the two worlds, adjusting the virtual experiment to match the hands-on experiment and then changing the physical experiment to test the fidelity of the simulation.

Deeply Digital Materials Help Students at Innovative New School

Because of generous support from the Noyce Foundation, teachers at Schools for the Future Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, will adopt and modify our probe and model-based science activities for use in their classrooms. The mission of Schools for the Future is to prove that disconnected youth in grades 8-12 can succeed in high school, college, and careers. The school uses a state-of-the-art turnaround model that integrates research-based practices in adolescent literacy, math, science, and affective development with innovative technologies, including a sophisticated student assessment and data dashboard.

Happy 15th Birthday, VHS!

The award-winning Virtual High School (VHS) originated at the Concord Consortium in 1996 in collaboration with Hudson (Massachusetts) Public Schools. In 2001, the project was spun off as the Virtual High School Global Consortium, an independent nonprofit that is now funded primarily from school memberships and continues to offer over 185 unique teacher-designed courses to over 15,000 students. Looking for the highest quality online courses for middle and high school students? Look no further than the Virtual High School (

SeeingMathâ„¢ Courses for Teachers

The Concord Consortium developed the Seeing Mathâ„¢ series of algebra courses for teachers that include innovative, interactive computational models for solving linear equations, quadratic functions, and more. Videos of content experts and students supplement course material. For these professional development courses, try PBS TeacherLine ( or Teachscape (