Created: March 27, 2018
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The tools in Mad Science are intentionally playful—they are built to be adaptable and act as sandboxes for experimentation. A playful game-like environment has unique potential for research for both reasons. Placing students as scientists and creators of personalized experiments in the sandbox-like environment we are proposing creates a space where failure is acceptable, and even productive for learning . Playfulness, in this respect, can potentially change attitudes towards the content students are learning, and lessen anxiety about the task. Ke  found that after a module of designing games about mathematics, while students were more focused on playful elements of the task than mathematical content, students attitudes developed more positive dispositions towards the content (i.e., math).
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