Circuitry and Programming Design

This game is a research prototype. It is not currently available to the public.

New Species Discovered

An expedition in Mexico reveals an uncharted lagoon teeming with life, and it's up to junior explorers to learn more about its mysteries. Enter Oztoc: an immersive world where children design circuits to lure bioluminescent creatures from the deep. The game is a first-of-its kind museum installation, combining a state-of-the-art multitouch tabletop display with tactile physical blocks. The result is a hybrid game where students touch physical blocks to create virtual in-game circuits.

Engineers in Action

Oztoc is an rich environment for research on how children learn programming and design. Three of its features are key to that research:

Rapid Exploration: While physical components mean kids can see and touch circuit parts, using virtual wires lets them quickly build, test, and iterate over the circuit prototypes.

Multiple Views: The museum installation itself is instrumented with multiple video cameras to get a complete view of the action at the table. By coordinating data with video of how students play, Oztoc represents a first-of-its-kind opportunity to understand design-based learning in a museum setting.

A Game-Changing Partnership

Oztoc is a National Science Foundation funded collaboration between the Games+Learning+Society Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), and the Learning Games Network. Co-led by Principal Investigators Leilah Lyons (NYSCI) and Matthew Berland (UW-Madison), the project team combines learning science researchers, game designers, and museum specialists.