National Science Foundation
C. Richard Cassady, Edward A. Pohl, Melissa Miller
University of Arkansas
The objectives of this project is to introduce simulation games (Zoo Tycoon: The Complete Collection) in the the classroom at Randall G. Lynch Middle School to help students acquire problem-solving skills and basic understanding of tools used in Industrial Engineering.
The 2004 Summer RET program at the University of Arkansas provided an opportunity to conduct research in the area of designing and managing supply chains as well as in basic industrial and systems engineering. Emphasis was placed on how these concepts can be explored through the use of a simulation game that would provide a high interest project based curriculum.
The materials developed are intended to help students acquire fundamental problem solving capabilities as well as a basic understanding of some tools used in Industrial Engineering and logistics. This project was completed under the leadership of two mentoring professors: Dr. Richard Cassady and Dr. Ed Pohl, who provided guidance and also secured funding necessary to support the implementation of the curriculum into the public schools by providing the necessary supplies through the support of Dr. John English, center director at the University of Arkansas.
In conclusion, this material showed to be extremely beneficial to the students. They learned several important concepts and developed much needed problem solving skills. Motivation was also extremely high. Many students expressed new interest in taking additional math courses and science courses such as physics, largely due to the interest built up by playing the selected game.