Engage your underrepresented students in STEM

Tyto Online uses a variety of strategies to meet the goal of "All Standards, All Students" and keep middle schoolers engaged at a time when they are at risk for losing interest in STEM.

Engage your underrepresented students in STEM

We have a growing imperative to support diverse students.

The percentage of students in our schools who fall under an underrepresented category is growing, and educators and their partners, like us, are growing to support these needs!

  • Initial NGSS tests show an equity gap 
    The first states have released their NGSS assessment data, and they are showing a large gap in performance based on student demographics. Read about CA results or see WA results.

Strategies Tyto Online Uses

We've designed Tyto Online with key strategies for supporting underrepresented students in mind. A few of our key approaches are explained here.

Experience what it's like to actually do science.

Stereotype Busting

We fight back against the stereotype that STEM careers are 'weird' and focused on machines, letting students actually engage in collecting data and "doing" science.

STEM Careers are Creative & Collaborative

We show students how scientists must work together and approach problems in creative ways. They aren't just in a lab by themselves, but out sharing work and winning people over! Read why this is important.

Focusing on "doing" science increases persistence

New research (2019) shows that girls persist longer on difficult science tasks when asked to "do science," rather than "be scientists." View the research.

Diverse representation.

Keep breaking down stereotypes

We ensure we are representative with gender, have a variety of skin tones, and also incorporate global cultures. Research shows that it helps to break down ALL stereotypes. Read more.

Inclusive character customization

The students' characters have a variety of diverse options and are LGBTQ friendly as there are no forced gender/sex stereotypes based on body style chosen.

Connected to the act of doing science in Tyto

These diverse characters, both in the game world and played by the students, are engaging in the acts of doing science successfully throughout the experience.

Shows the social impact of STEM careers.

Why does science matter?

Students are more engaged when they understand that science actually makes a difference, it's not just about asking abstract, theoretical questions. We've designed around storylines that solve real, authentic problems for students to care about. Read more.

Connect to local context

One important aspect of making connections to impact, is making it matter to students. We include several types of ecosystems and practice/enrichment quests to help teachers find topics that matter to their students' lives.

Includes varied ways to show understanding.

The NGSS is literacy-rich, which can be a challenging shift for students. We provide varied ways of showing their learning depending on the content:

Build an Argument from Puzzle Pieces

Rather than having to come up with all the language on their own, scaffold students with argument building they puzzle together with evidence.

Create a Flow Chart Model

Create models simply by connecting notes and submitting charts.

Simulation-Based Tasks

Students can also succeed in a simulation-based challenge, like keeping an ecosystem alive or bringing a temperate planet to life.

Ready to empower students with Tyto Online?

Create an Account Schedule a Demo

We're starting to work on anti-racist + social justice content.

Anti-racist work that reduces biases can be a perfect fit for science class! Researchers have designed curricula that directly addresses racist misconceptions by looking at the anchoring phenomenon of the genetics of race. Read more about that at the New York Times.

This inspired us, and we’re excited to start building more of our content from the basis of important, culturally relevant phenomena that we can use to address racism and injustice straight on.

Example Science Phenomena

SICKLE CELL ANEMIA

Genetics

Students would investigate a disease, sickle cell, including developing an understanding of how its protein shape impacts its function and causes the symptoms. They would then look into why the disease has persisted and its link to positive survival rates with malaria, impacting the populations that tend to have sickle cell. Students will then look into treatments and underfunding for sickle cell and the disportioncate effort given to diseases that more often impact underrepresented communities.

CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS

Weather & Climate

Students would explore an impacted community, interviewing people and developing empathy around the problem. They’d then examine the science behind what is happening, and evaluate potential design solutions. Students could then look at broader data sets then showing how this is happening around the world, exploring the communities that are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Interested in this work?

Use the live chat on the bottom right and let us know!  We can put you on a list to reach out when we start releasing it, and we also may have opportunities for testing the content as it’s developed, and joining an advisory committee.  We’d love to hear from you!

Want to know what you can do on your own, right now?  Our Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Pope wrote this article on anti-racist ways to teach science with some ideas you can implement.