Decimal Point: Can Having Fun Increase Learning?

The Decimal Point Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, explores whether educational games can motivate middle school students and help them better learn decimals and decimal operations compared to more conventional (non-game) instructional approaches. The game is based on an amusement park metaphor, in which the effects of various instructional strategies are examined.

All the materials developed on the Decimal Point project are available through MathTutor (, a website that helps middle school students learn math.



"I enjoyed having CMU in to conduct the decimal study with our students. I felt as though the questions were structured in a way that challenged the students on all aspects of working with decimals. Our students had fun playing the games and did well when they completed the post test.  The CMU researchers were a pleasure to work with.”    Jordon Roussos, 5th Grade Teacher, Crafton Elementary School, Pittsburgh, PA

“We have worked with the decimal point website for years with great success. The Decimal Point study engages students and makes them think on a deeper level about what decimals represent and how to work with them. It is a great reinforcement to instruction.”   Janice Ruoff, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Trafford Middle School, Manor, PA

"Love the decimal study!  It teaches my students so much prior to us reaching it in our curriculum!  Kids really enjoy playing the games!”    Brandi Yurcina, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Hopewell Junior High School, Aliquippa, PA

"I am the parent of a Penn Trafford School District student who participated in a study on learning decimals that was conducted earlier this year (2019). My son loved the experience!"    Theresa Stones, Parent, Penn Trafford School District, Pittsburgh, PA


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No: 1238619. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Original Project Timeframe: 09/26/2012 through 03/31/2015