EA SPORTS™, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and Discovery Education have come together in the creation of an educational initiative that offers students in grades 5-9 the ability to learn science and math content while playing an interactive digital learning game.
The initiative, EA SPORTS Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers, is a first-of-its-kind effort to get children in grades 5-9 interested in science and math while they play an interactive video game. Also included is a virtual field trip to EA’s Tiburon development studio, where kids will meet the people responsible for the creation of the Madden NFL games, as well as a local school community night that will feature an NFL player, among other learning tools.
According to a national survey from the Games and Learning Publishing Council concerning teaching with video games, 78% of teachers found digital games to be helpful in increasing students’ knowledge of content and mastery of skills. In addition, they reported the use of digital games to aid in students’ motivation to attend class, pay attention, and put forth more effort to succeed.
The creators of Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers expect similar results from their initiative through the use of well-known Madden NFL highlights and plays made by some of the most famous players, as well as interesting content. Students will be given access to the science and math behind football fundamentals, which will help them learn the reasoning behind why offensive and defensive plays are successful.
The program is expected to officially launch on December 1 and will be available online at no cost to parents, educators, and students.
“This is an amazing new program to reach kids and engage them in math and science, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said Anthony Stevenson, VP of Marketing for Electronic Arts. “We’ve always strived for Madden NFL to be a teaching tool for the sport of football, and now we’re marrying the art of the video game to the science behind our young fans’ favorite sport, teaching them both the fundamentals of the sport and the math that fuels it.”
The program will feature interactive scenarios in three sections: Explore, Learn and Game Play. Explore will introduce students to concepts, strategies and positions relating to football. Learn will teach students specific math and science concepts by linking them to specific offensive and defensive strategies. Students will then apply their new knowledge during Game Play.
For example, an offensive scenario offers students a set of conditions necessary to execute a pass between NFL players Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. Students will determine the type of pass that will best complete the play, as well as the angle and velocity at which the ball should be thrown. Students will continue to be given plays to run until they either score a touchdown or uses three plays without gaining a first down.
Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, is also expected to launch a virtual field trip for students in the spring of 2016 that will offer the ability to meet the creators of the Madden NFL games at EA’s Tiburon development studio in Orlando, Florida.