Enhancing children spatial skills with augmented reality serious games

Sandra Câmara, Valentina Nisi, Teresa Romão

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Augmented reality (AR) applications have shown to be extremely valuable for entertainment and educational purposes. AR experiences support the learning performance of scientific subjects by providing visualization of phenomena and abstract concepts. This process facilitates the transfer of 2D information into 3D mental models, a cognitive process essential in the Chemistry domain. In the pages that follow, we contribute to the design and development of two AR serious games that combine participatory design with human-computer interaction principles to introduce Periodic Table concepts to 9-13-year old children. We present initial findings regarding the children's acceptance and satisfaction of the games, usability, engagement and overall feedback from our target audience. Although the overall assessment showed positive results in AR's entertainment value and usability, a preliminary pilot test (N=7) using a mix-method approach identified the need for minor game-play interventions. We aim to optimize our games by continuing our research with our target audience, analyzing their feedback, making refinements and assessing the game's learning effectiveness. Our purpose is to research and create guidelines for designing AR serious games to facilitate the learning of abstract concepts while supporting spatial skills. We also aim to change student perception of Chemistry as challenging and dull, and to motivate children to invest in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2021: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
EditorsGünter Wallner, Alexander Meschtscherjakov, Max Birk, Jo Iacovides, Mitchell McEwan
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM - Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383561
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2021 - Virtual, Online, Austria
Duration: 18 Oct 202121 Oct 2021


Conference8th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Augmented reality
  • Serious games
  • Spatial skills
  • Storytelling and chemistry


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