Periodic Fable

Children’s early perception of chemistry as a complex and daunting subject can affect their achievements and future career choices. Augmented Reality (AR) and games can successfully engage students with learning content perceived to be less interesting or difficult. However, in chemistry, the vast majority of AR educational tools are designed for older students and are mainly focused on the visualization of scientific phenomena, thus failing to engage a younger population. There is a need to engage students with chemistry through child-friendly pedagogical approaches, since many lose interest in science before encountering the rich subject matter in high school and college. We propose the design and implementation of three AR game-based learning experiences that provide chemistry content at three levels: macroscopic, microscopic, and symbolic.


Chemistry is a school domain considered complex or difficult by some pre-teens, leading to a lack of motivation to pursue this rich subject. Our project aims to investigate how the use of Augmented Reality serious games can engage students with chemistry while providing content knowledge. To this end, we designed and developed three AR games to facilitate and engage children (9 to 13 years old) in learning abstract scientific content about the Periodic Table of Elements. We hope to find tools/methods that can gather pre-teens’ interest in chemistry, helping towards increasing future professionals in the domain. We also want to share our research process and findings with other colleagues as a framework that can be adapted to other STEM domains.


06/09/2018 - 06/07/2023

Funding scheme

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, ITI-LARSys

Project reference


Project website


HCI Subfields

Blending Interaction: Engineering Interactive Systems & Tools; Design; Games and Play; Learning, Education, and Families