Integrating STEM and the Humanities:
A Role Playing Game
Kris Boudreau, Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professor, Department of Humanities and Arts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Educators discovered how role-playing games can be an exciting tool for minds-on, hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences at their institutions or in their classrooms. They participated in a role-playing game designed by WPI students and faculty that simulates a “wicked problem” from 19th-century Worcester, MA. Educators learned about and test a role-playing game that gives equal weight to science, engineering, and the humanities (history, theatre, philosophy, literature), creating a multi-disciplinary STEM experience. They spent some time on student learning outcomes and different assignments designed to teach information literacy, problem definition, negotiations, urban history, and engineering. Attendees gained access to the game for use in their teaching, and learned how they can use it as a model for developing a role-playing game specific to their teaching environment.