Learning physics through play in an augmented reality environment

  • Noel Enyedy
  • Joshua A. Danish
  • Girlie Delacruz
  • Melissa Kumar


The Learning Physics through Play Project (LPP) engaged 6–8 year old students (n = 43) in a series of scientific investigations of Newtonian force and motion including a series of augmented reality activities. We outline the two design principles behind the LPP curriculum: 1) the use of socio-dramatic, embodied play in the form of participatory modeling to support inquiry; and 2) progressive symbolization within rich semiotic ecologies to help students construct meaning. We then present pre- and post-test results to show that young students were able to develop a conceptual understanding of force, net force, friction and two-dimensional motion after participating in the LPP curriculum. Finally, we present two case studies that illustrate the design principles in action. Taken together the cases show some of the strengths and challenges associated with using augmented reality, embodied play, and a student invented semiotic ecology for scientific inquiry.


Science education Augmented reality Embodied cognition 



This project was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL-0733218). This project would also not be possible without the help from members of our team who are not authors on this paper Fabian Wagmister, Jeff Burke and Alessandro Marianantoni. Finally we would like to thank Sylvia Gentile who taught the lessons and led the students in some remarkable discussions of force and motion.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel Enyedy
    • 1
  • Joshua A. Danish
    • 2
  • Girlie Delacruz
    • 1
  • Melissa Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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