TUKWILA, Wash.-BECU and Seattle's Slalom Consulting have developed an application on Slalom's mLevel "gamification" platform, which uses games to create entertaining experiences for financial learning, training and business activities.

The one-time Boeing Employees CU is seeking to find new and innovative ways to teach financial literacy education in schools. BECU hired Slalom to develop a financial literacy application for the classroom via PC, smartphones, and tablet computers for students across Seattle.

"Our goal with our financial education efforts is to help individuals make more informed financial decisions," said Tom Berquist, SVP-member strategies at the $10-billion credit union. "By using technology that students are comfortable with and adding an element of competition to make it fun, we see this app as a unique and innovative way to engage high school students on the subject of financial literacy."

Slalom and BECU developed three games, "Banking 101," "Car-Buying Basics," and "Give Me Some Credit" that augment the learning experience and reinforce the importance of making responsible financial decisions. With the app or website, students are able to demonstrate their prowess in the personal finance arena, applying the knowledge they gain in the classroom to compete with peers. The students are encouraged to continue to play all of the games outside of the classroom to improve their personal score. A leader board aggregates scores across the nine participating classrooms from four area schools.

Program Being Piloted

The BECU mLevel Challenge games are being piloted in several Seattle area high schools over the next two weeks. Given a successful pilot, the program will be rolled out to more Puget Sound-area schools in the fall. Slalom and BECU will analyze metrics and document the lessons learned from students, teachers and administrators using the app to enhance the game for the coming school year.

The app can be downloaded to a range of devices including on the Windows Phone, iOS, and Android platforms. A web-based version is also available for use on personal computers. Each 90-second game contains 30 true/false and multiple-choice questions where students earn points for each correctly answered question.

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