Edtech Metaverse Game Royelles Launches to Teach Young Girls STEM

  • Royelles is a new educational video game for girls and non-binary kids to learn about STEM.
  • Players can go on educational quests in space and learn from real life NASA scientists.
  • Royelles was founded by Múkami Kinoti Kimotho, who wanted more educational games for her daughter.

Longtime diversity consultant and content creator Múkami Kinoti Kimotho came up with the idea for her mobile gaming startup, Royelles, after trying to find educational games for her 11-year-old daughter and coming up short.

The mobile gaming metaverse just launched and wants to inspire young girls to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and math, through interactive augmented reality quests and sessions with real life scientists.

“We know that children as young as 2 years old these days spend more than six hours a day on their smartphones, and mobile gaming is quite literally at the heart of everything they do,” Kimotho said. “But the reality is that the available options out there from a gaming perspective really weren’t created with girls in mind.”

As she began to research solutions, Kimotho also found that young girls’ interest in STEM takes a hit when they get to middle school.

A 2018 study conducted by Microsoft and KRC research found that girls begin to lose interest in pursuing projects in STEM for a variety of social factors, like peer pressure and lack of tools specifically targeting young women and girls.

Royelles Founder Múkami Kinoti Kimotho CEO & Founder of Royelles.

Royelles CEO and founder Múkami Kinoti Kimotho started the game to support her daughter.

Royelles


Kimotho decided to build her own mobile game that could fill this gap for girls like her daughter.

“It’s all well and good to jump through hoops and roadblocks or to build something in Minecraft, but if that girl is not able to connect the dots to the possibilities that exist for her as an architect or an engineer in real life, then it’s a wasted opportunity, “Kimotho said.

The game, which just launched on Apple’s App Store and for Android, tells the story of an interstellar princess named Mara who wants to be the first woman on a human mission to Mars. Her journey is narrated by Dr. Christyl Johnson, the deputy center director for technology and research investments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Through Mara, players can interact with their virtual environment by tapping on prompts to learn more about the science of space travel and engineering, and even build simple algorithms within the game as part of Mara’s quest. Using the mobile app, girls can also “beam” an avatar persona or character into their rooms using their device’s camera feature and see these experiments take place in their own space.

Royelles also offers curated live sessions for players, where gamers can tune in on their devices and hear talks from successful women in STEM, including the game’s narrator, Dr. Johnson. The team is working on building out other quests and avatars that players can choose from, Kimotho said.

Royelles has been bootstrapped thus far, but is in discussions with investors. The team is also hoping to launch Royelles on Amazon Fire tablets and Chromebooks later this year to bring the game into more educational settings, along with adding more storylines that can include different STEM lesson plans.

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