WaterLife: Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest [NOAA online game]
NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service launched the second online educational game in the WaterLife series, “Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest.” The Web-based game encourages and explains loggerhead sea turtle conservation through a series of games and animations aimed at fourth through seventh grade students. This game is part of NOAA’s educational strategy to engage students in challenges that maintain an interest in science and technology.
The game takes place in a seaside town in the southeastern United States and involves six stakeholders critical to the protection and recovery of the loggerhead sea turtle, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Players navigate through a series of mini games including a beach cleanup, clearing the way for nesting turtles, and completing a food chain version of Sudoku. All of these actions improve the likelihood of survival for the loggerhead turtle. To succeed, players must understand human actions affecting loggerheads and what people can do to improve the chance for survival of the species, both on land and in the ocean.
Developing Quest to Nest
“Quest to Nest” was developed through a partnership with Montgomery College’s Computer Gaming and Simulation Program based in Rockville, Md.
“Developing this game was a wonderful opportunity for our college students to learn new skills while helping the environment,” said Professor Deborah Solomon, coordinator of the gaming program at Montgomery College. “The project gave them the experience of working on a professional, year-long project and gave them the satisfaction of knowing that their work will educate others about the simple things they can do to protect sea turtles.”
Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders
The short games in “Quest to Nest” will help students understand the most important issues facing loggerhead sea turtles on land and in the ocean. With this knowledge, students can then practice making difficult decisions involving multiple stakeholders. “Quest to Nest” is a much-needed resource to help our future leaders grasp the importance of conserving our marine resources and to develop an informed citizenry prepared to take action to protect our nation’s living marine resources.