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Fast Co: Brain Chase, instructional program disguised as a treasure hunt for kids 1-10 yrs.

LOL!  Give them a really fun game that motivates them to stay curious and discover the clues….

FC:   Brain Chase, a six-week treasure hunt that layers an animated story peppered with clues on top of the best instructional content on the web. As students log progress in reading, writing, and math, Brain Chase reveals new chapters in an adventure story and opportunities to guess the location of a real-world treasure worth $10,000, buried under a rose bush somewhere on Earth.

“What can we do during the summer to keep the kids sharp? And what kind of a program would be irresistible to kids? That’s when the floodgates opened and the idea came together,” says Allan, who has a background in entertainment and has taken the lead on the creative aspects of Brian Chase.

Capturing Hearts And Minds

To make a dent in this stubborn problem, Brain Chase will have to convince parents that its instructional framework is worth $199, and then convince students in grades 2 through 8 that its animated story can rival the drama of Disney Channel favorites. Allan is hopeful that Brain Chase main character Mae Merriweather, a modern Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew on a quest for the “Globe of Magellan,” will capture and hold imaginations.

“There has to be a compelling story behind it, and an objective that can get kids engaged,” he says. “The idea of a real treasure is mysterious and captivating.”

Heather notes that the visual dashboard that tracks students’ progress–Brain Chase requires an hour of learning time five days per week in order to “unlock” new chapters–is also designed to play a role in retention. “As software starts asking, ‘how can we help students exercise agency,’ this will just explode the quality and the satisfaction that students feel as they engage with it,” she says.

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