Thanks to a new $3 million grant from the Gates Foundation, a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) will soon be available from MIT to boost high school students’ understanding of STEM subjects. With the aim of engaging students on topics that run the risk of alienating many of them when taught via the traditional classroom model, the MIT Education Arcade’s MMOG will deepen subject matter knowledge while honing modern-day skills. In a MMOG sencario, players’ avatars interact in a virtual world. According to Professor Eric Klopfer, director of the Education Arcade and the Scheller Teacher Education Program at MIT, “This genre of games is uniquely suited to teaching the nature of science inquiry because they provide collaborative, self-directed learning situations. Players take on the roles of scientists, engineers and mathematicians to explore and explain a robust virtual world.” Boston-area teachers and students will participate in a pilot phase of the project this spring.