Equitable Classrooms


Tyto Online

Empowering experiential STEM learning through a video game using authentic, meaningful problem-solving

Team Lead

Lindsey Tropf

Solution Pitch

The Problem

82 percent of young people lack the skills they need to enter the workplace; they need to develop critical 21st-century skills and scientific literacy. On top of that, just 33 percent of 8th-grade students in the United States currently meet science proficiency targets. Interest in STEM tends to decrease in middle school, particularly for underrepresented populations including girls and racial and ethnic minorities. The equity gaps for marginalized students have only been further exacerbated during Covid-19 lockdowns and remote schooling.

The Solution

Tyto Online empowers experiential learning through a video game where students directly explore science phenomena and authentic problems. For example, students have the opportunity to work with a botanist to solve a food shortage while learning about genetics. They learn about climate change by investigating coral bleaching and conducting experiments about why it’s happening. Learning is designed around authentic problems so that students can learn in an applied, meaningful manner. Through this approach, Tyto Online empowers students to become scientifically literate citizens. 

Tyto Online focuses on STEM for middle schoolers because that’s when students, particularly those who are marginalized, tend to lose interest in STEM. Tyto Online brings many strategies to engage these students including diverse and meaningful representation, breaking stereotypes about STEM, and showing the social impact of STEM careers. Tyto Online seeks to help diverse students build critical skills and stay engaged in STEM.


  • After using Tyto Online, students’ science and engineering skills increased by 12 percent.

  • During the Spring 2021 semester,  43 percent of students played extra “quests” beyond what their teachers had assigned.

  • 96 percent of students using Tyto Online are interested in using the game to learn more topics.

  • There was a 0.96 correlation between how many “quests” students completed and the amount their learning grew.

Market Opportunity

In 2020, the average district spent $4.4 million on digital curriculum resources, with an average of $154 spent per student. With 48.1 million public school students in the United States, this represents a $7.4 billion market.

Organization Highlights

  • Won The ASA Prize for Equitable Education, The GM Prize, and The GSR Prize at Solve Challenge Finals.

Partnership Goals

  • Connections to schools and school districts at the local, regional, and national levels in the US to help increase adoption by more teachers and schools.

  • Marketing and communications support to help Tyto Online reach more students in more places.

  • Strategic technical partners who can help support the scale-up of Tyto Online’s technology, especially those with experience in game development and cloud technology infrastructure.

  • Connections to long-term content partners who want to engage with and share social impact knowledge with middle school students.

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Buffalo, NY, United States


Working In:
United States

Current Employees: 

Solution Website:

Solution Team:

  • Lindsey Tropf Founder & CEO, Immersed Games

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