Wiiscience engages students in instrumenting their project based learning curriculum in a sixth grade hand-on physics classroom.
While classic project based learning activities (such as building a mousetrap car and designing a rollercoaster) give students a direct experience related to core concepts they will encounter in their curriculum, they typically do not engage students in relating these experiences to data or abstract representation of data.
By putting wiimotes in the hands of young people as they are building they gain access to:
Data related to their experiences;
Graphical representations of velocity and acceleration related to that data;
Noise that comes from real messy inquiry, and skills to manage it;
Hacking experiences that encourage them to reinvision "black boxed" technologies as flexible tools for their own use;
Social interactions that bridge cultures of gaming with the culture of the science classroom;
Design. Youth give feedback and direction to the design of software that will make it easier for other kids in other science classrooms to also reconfigure everyday gaming technologies to investigate their worlds.