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Picatinny Sponsored School Wins Educational Gaming Competition

Gaming Competition2018

A seventh-grade team of students from All Saints Academy in Parsippany, New Jersey, won the 2018 Department of Defense DimensionU Virtual Math Games competition on April 19.

For the event, five DoD teams squared off during a two-hour gaming competition. The teams were sponsored by Picatinny's Arma­ment Research, Development and Engineering Center, Systems Center Atlantic, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Picatinny sponsored All Saints Academy, the winning seventh-grade team.

DimensionU is an interactive math and literature computer game. To succeed, stu­dents must solve math problems before moving on to the next level.

The five teams competed virtually against each other from three installations in New Jersey, South Carolina and New York.

The competition has three stratum of competition: a competition among sixth-graders, a competition among seventh-graders, and competition among teams consisting of both sixth- and seventh-graders.

Helena Geraghty, a sixth-grade student, explained that players can select six different categories of questions. Qyestions in the measurement category, for example, would involve such challenges as comparing different units of measurement.

The six different question categories are algebra, operations, measurements, data analysis and geometry.

“It's fun and it helps you learn," said Maddie Whelan, a seventh-grader. "It's almost like you're doing homework, but it's fun.”

“And it's competitive and it's fun,” added sixth-grader Amanda Pactwa.

The game can be played on a computer, or through an app, so that students can compete during lunch and after school, in addition to the classroom during technology and math periods. Players can participate individually or as a team.

The students said that they enjoy playing the game so much that sometimes their parents have to prod them to stop playing the math game and spend time in other activities such as playing sports.

Picatinny Arsenal provides the funding for All Saints Academy and select other New Jersey schools to purchase the required DimensionU licensing.

“DimensionU is the only math product I know that helps with test-taking anxiety, explained Shah Dabiri,” the Picatinny STEM program manager.

“When the kids play the math video game, their cortisol levels—in otl1er words tl1eir stress levels-go up while they answer these questions. So while they're in a test environment, and their stress levels go up, they can handle the stress.”

“It's a great tool to help students deal with the stress of test taking and it encourages them to practice test taking while learning math along the way.”

- AUDRA CALLOWAY, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs


Original article:
The Picatinny Voice