To get girls interested in the MINT subjects (mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology), a video game was developed in a partnership with ETH Zurich. The main target group comprised girls of primary school age (up to 13 years), in order to boost the numbers of female students of these disciplines in future years. One of the reasons for ETH’s efforts to recruit more women for engineering and science disciplines – still largely dominated by males – was the realization that research teams with a balanced gender mix consistently achieve better quality and efficiency.
The MINT-Land (land of MINT) computer game therefore makes the children more aware of the role played by science and technology in their everyday lives, and shows them that these can be fun subjects to study. A series of mini-games focused on several thematic areas are used for the acquisition of knowledge on a range of natural science topics. These have to be completed to earn points, and to move on the next level of the game: organizing the power supply to a fantasy island. Once this mission has been accomplished, the player again proceeds to the next level. The mini-games are only an intermediate stage on the path to the next part of the game. Only when the players have completed enough experiments, on light reflection, for example, are they allowed to proceed to the next level of the game.