Emerging Technologies and Edtech June 19, 2014

Country of Origin: United States
Languages: English
Developer: GameDesk & Iridescent Learning
Publisher: GameDesk
Year Published: 2013
Platforms: iOS
Genre: Simulation, Flight Simulator
Age Range: Late elementary (5th, 6th grade) through early high school (9th,10th grade)
Subject: Science (physics)

Aero aims to teach kids as young as 9 years old the fundamentals of flight. It does this by putting players in control of an albatross and introducing the core forces at work: lift, gravity, drag and thrust. The game introduces each of these forces in an interactive tutorial and then allows players to swap a visual representation of forces on and off during play.

The core of the experience is an open-world exploration game where players have to complete challenges – like flying through hoops, ducking under soaring archways, and landing on ships – that reinforce the way the four core forces interact. As they move through the game, players unlock new collectible actions that help incentivize the play.

In general, the way that Aero introduces a force and then provides clear, structured play examples around the concept is enormously helpful. It forces players not just to look and remember, but also to apply their learning. Younger players may get frustrated with the advanced concepts, but will still enjoy the accessible gameplay.