Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


John Irwin


This study investigated the effect that the video game Portal 2 had on students understanding of Newton’s Laws and their attitudes towards learning science during a two-week afterschool program at a science museum. Using a pre/posttest and survey design, along with instructor observations, the results showed a statistically relevant increase in understanding of Newton’s Laws (p=.02<.05) but did not measure a relevant change in attitude scores. The data and observations suggest that future research should pay attention to non-educational aspects of video games, be careful about the amount of time students spend in the game, and encourage positive relationships with game developers.