Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Advance U: The TALENT Machine

Mindset and Neuroplasticity

Jacqueline Schlasner, Cody Garrison, William Thompson, Javier Elizondo, Emmett Mathews, Braden Roper, Diana Gedye | Published: November 9th, 2020 by K20 Center

Learning Objectives

Constructs such as grit, persistence, resilience, academic buoyancy, goal-setting, teamwork, time management, self-efficacy, metacognition, self-regulation, mindset, and interpersonal skills are non-cognitive skills that have been shown to promote academic achievement.

Advance U: The TALENT Machine brings instruction of these skills into the classroom by offering students the opportunity to learn about and practice neuroplasticity and mindset.


  • Students can describe how learning occurs in the brain and the way the brain changes as they learn

  • Students can explain the concept of neuroplasticity and how new connections are formed in the brain.


  • Students will be able to explain the concept of mindset and identify their own mindsets and those of others.

  • Following a failed attempt at a specific task, the student can identify what they learned from the attempt.

Changing Mindset:

  • Students will be able to explain how they can change their own mindsets and help others to do the same.

About Advance U: The TALENT Machine

A new program has been enacted at McLaren Academy. A machine has been created that measures a student’s “natural talents” and then determines the job that student is best suited for. Unfortunately, this machine ignores the human capability to learn and grow. To reclaim their educational autonomy and stop the machine from being adopted by more schools, it is up to the students to learn about neuroplasticity and mindset prove that the TALENT Machine will not work.

The game, designed for high school students, blends digital game-based learning with a contemporary setting where students must first learn and then apply the concepts of Mindset and Neuroplasticity.

Find a lesson created to accompany Advance U: The TALENT Machine at or create your own!


Game Resources

In addition to full implementation support, the K20 Center provides the following documents to help instructors effectively integrate Advance U: The TALENT Machine into their classrooms:

Download All

K20 Game Based Learning

To use K20 Games in your classroom free of charge, please click the button below and create an account on the K20 Game Portal.

Get Games

Awards and Publications

International Serious Play Awards 2017 (7-12 Ed), Silver Winner

Adame, E. A., Wilson, S., Cecena, F. J. E., Thompson, W., Ralston, R., Thomas, D., Veluscek, A. M., Posteher, K. A., & Wallace, B. S. (2017). Serious games and growth mindsets: An experimental investigation of a serious gaming intervention. National Communication Association Conference. 

Game Support

If you have an issue with any GBL product, click the button below to visit our support page. From there, you can view frequently ask questions, access useful guides, or contact support.

Request Support

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 License.