Nationwide Conference on Games for Learning Comes to Florida, Features Mote

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Nationwide Conference on Games for Learning Comes to Florida, Features Mote

Oct 2, 2013

A nationwide organization that uses game play for serious learning will host its annual conference in Florida for the first time in October, including highlights from an Informal Science Education icon: Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

The North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) will hold its 51st conference — “Play By Design: A Bridge to Learning” — on Oct. 23-26 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota at 1000 Boulevard of the Arts. NASAGA invites trainers, teachers, consultants, game designers and other educators focused on playful learning to share their work, exchange ideas and find new inspiration for educational activities from role-playing and team-building programs to board games and digital learning.

Registration is open through Oct. 22. For registration, schedule and cost information, visit:

The conference will feature workshops and activities led by NASAGA participants from across the U.S. and as far away as Singapore and South Africa.

Mote, a participating organization and sponsor of the conference, was invited by conference organizers to share its innovative approaches for Informal Science Education, which stems from the Lab’s world-class marine research.

“It seemed to me there was a natural relationship between the things NASAGA cares about and the things Mote cares about,” said Kate Koski, Chair of the NASAGA conference. “Mote is practicing playful learning, so it felt like there was a natural symbiosis there.”

"An important part of Mote's mission is to actively interpret current marine research for audiences both locally and globally," said Brad Tanner, School Programs Coordinator at Mote. "Working with NASAGA will allow us to share the experience-based education programs we've developed, while learning from others, to help people of all ages become more ocean literate."

Tanner will co-lead the session “Exploring Playful Learning: A Dialog among Informal Educators, Classroom Science Teachers and Game Designers” from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt. In this exciting exchange, classroom teachers, informal educators and designers of games-for-learning will explore their common interests, share best practices and brainstorm designs for learning that are experiential, engaging and memorable. This unique stand-alone session is free to registered conference participants and also available to the public with $7 tickets at the door. Admission includes a post-session conference-wide welcome reception with appetizers and cash bar.

In addition, Mote will host a field trip from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, where conference participants can learn about the Lab’s fascinating research and play an interactive computer game that unfolds on a 40-foot HD movie screen in Mote’s Immersion Cinema. This experience is available to registered conference participants at no additional cost. Trip is not available to the general public.

Other NASAGA sessions will focus on game design, digital learning, leadership and negotiation skills and much more.

For a full list of sessions, visit and click “View Program.”

About Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. Donations to Mote are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Mote is dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Showcasing this research is The Aquarium at Mote, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at

Contact: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. (941) 388-4441 or


Founded in 1962, the North American Simulation and Gaming Association is the home for trainers, teachers and educators who use active learning methods to increase engagement, enhance retention, and improve performance. Learn more at


Media Contact at Mote Marine Laboratory: Hayley Rutger, 941-374-0081,

Media Contact at North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA): Kate Koski, 860-670-4458,

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