A free online video game for children about a Great Lakes shipwreck is now available. “The Legend of the Lost Emerald,” is a point-and-click adventure game designed for players grades 4-6. It was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Field Day Lab in partnership with Wisconsin Sea Grant, PBS Wisconsin Education and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Teacher fellows offered insights at every step of the game’s development. Funding was provided by PBS Wisconsin Education with additional help from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and Sea Grant.
Players must use critical thinking and historical inquiry skills to find the wreck as they step into the shoes of Jules, a maritime archaeologist, with help from a cast of diverse family members. Players dive underwater to gather clues, build evidence and uncover the real treasure – stories of shipwrecks inspired by Great Lakes history. It takes two classroom sessions to complete (about 2 hours).
“The goal of the game is to connect students with the maritime history in their own state – to go beyond the story of the Titanic,” said Anne Moser, senior special librarian and education coordinator for Wisconsin Sea Grant. “It includes topics like lake ecology, maritime archaeology, trade and commerce.”