NWEA launches new experience on Roblox to engage students in immersive physics

Built by Filament Games, guided by NWEA Science experts, and funded by a Roblox grant the new immersive experience provides a robust assessment tool for students and teachers

Portland, Ore., Madison, Wis., — Nov. 14, 2023 NWEA, a K-12 assessment and research organization, announced today Distance Dash, a new science-focused experience on Roblox, a global immersive platform for communication and connection. Through the development of Distance Dash, NWEA was able to explore innovative ways to use 3D immersive experiences to engage students in the study of science and assess their achievements in the subject.

“We’re so excited to have this experience now available to students through Roblox,” said Tyler Matta, VP of Learning Sciences Engineering at NWEA. “We dove into this project as a way to really explore how students engage with science, and how aspects of gaming could be utilized in other elements of learning, including in assessments. It was a really educational experience for us and we appreciate the support of Roblox and Filament Games.”

NWEA’s Science content and measurement experts provided the vision, direction, assessment and research expertise for the project. The Roblox Community Fund (RCF) provided the opportunity for NWEA to work with Filament Games an educational game developer known for such projects as the Mission: Mars designed for the Museum of Science, Boston, also hosted on the Roblox platform.

“We’re excited to join forces with NWEA in a pioneering partnership that authentically and playfully connects learning to assessment. Together, we’ve created a dynamic game-based learning experience that promises to advance learning outcomes for all kids,” said Dan White, CEO at Filament Games.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and other multidimensional science state standards emphasize that a rich and equitable science education depends on framing science teaching, learning, and assessment around students’ interests and experiences. With this as a basis for the experience, students playing Distance Dash are tasked with launching two vehicles carrying different loads and ensuring they reach the finish line in perfect sync. They’ll need to fine-tune forces based on assigned masses and predict outcomes for maximum acceleration while maintaining synchronized arrival. The experience’s assessment objectives encompass identifying data patterns, grasping acceleration principles, optimizing force application, making precise predictions, applying Newton’s second law, and problem-solving. Collaboration and social learning are encouraged as learners navigate the immersive world of physics, strategically manipulating forces, demonstrating precision, and working together to emerge as champions in this ultimate test of scientific skill and teamwork.

NWEA is among the first grantees of the RCF. Established in 2021, RCF offers grants to educational organizations and developers to enable the creation of innovative learning experiences and curriculum, leveraging the platform in compelling ways.

To check out the experience go to https://www.roblox.com/games/13470104112/Distance-Dash

About NWEA

NWEA® (a division of HMH) is a mission-driven organization that supports students and educators in more than 146 countries through research, assessment solutions, policy and advocacy services, professional learning and school improvement services that fight for equity, drive classroom impact and push for systemic change in our educational communities. Visit NWEA.org to learn more about how we’re partnering with educators to help all kids learn.

About Filament Games

Filament Games is a boutique game development studio with an 18-year track record of success and leadership in the educational game space. We’re all about delivering positive impacts as well as legitimately engaging game play — simultaneously! It’s both our specialty and our #1 priority, whether the intended impact takes the form of new knowledge, broader empathy, or a fresh perspective. With more than 400 projects completed for heavyweight clients like National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Oculus, McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, and more, our team brings an expert hand to creating stunning educational games that can reach any age, leverage any platform, and teach any topic.

Contact FOR FILAMENT: Brandon Pittser, VP of Marketing, bpittser@filamentgames.com

Contact FOR NWEA: Simona Beattie, Sr. Manager, Public Relations, simona.beattie@nwea.org or 971.361.9526