Mar 21, 2012


Air Academy is a school-based program that uses an interactive computer game to teach elementary school students, both those with and those without asthma, about asthma. An evaluation found a positive impact on asthma knowledge for students in classrooms that used the computer game.


Target population: Elementary school students, ages six to twelve

Air Academy is a school-based CD-ROM-based asthma education program that aims to increase children’s knowledge of asthma. The interactive computer game uses analogies to help children understand asthma management and presents information on asthma through “missions.” The final mission in the game involves role-playing scenarios that children with asthma face. The program also includes video clips, workshops, and debriefing sessions to reinforce the messages about asthma. Children complete an introductory session that teaches them how to use the game. They are then allowed to play the game for up to 20 minutes during each computer lab session, for six weeks. The computer lab sessions occur three times a week. Children also hear a 30-minute asthma talk.


Evaluated population: Eighty-seven students in three fourth-grade classes at a racially and socioeconomically diverse elementary school in Minnesota, in which approximately 25 percent of the students were non-white were evaluated. The sample consisted of 46 boys and 41 girls, all between nine and ten years old.

Approach: Two classes were randomly assigned to receive the intervention, and the other served as a control. One of the intervention classrooms heard the asthma talk during the six-week intervention, and the other heard it between the end of the intervention and the post-test. Data were collected at pre-test and post-test on asthma knowledge. Children in the intervention classes received a follow-up test on asthma knowledge four weeks after the intervention.

Results: Students in the intervention classrooms showed an improvement in asthma knowledge from pre-test to post-test, and at post-test they scored higher on the asthma knowledge assessment than did the children in the control classroom. The follow-up assessment showed that students in the intervention classrooms retained the knowledge they had gained.



Yawn, B.P., Algatt-Bergstrom, P.J., Yawn, R.A., Wollan, P., Greco, M., Gleason, M., & Markson, L. (2000). An in-school CD-ROM asthma education program. Journal of School Health, 70, 153-159.

Contact Information

Merck and Co. and I.C. Axon Inc.
3575 St. Laurent Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec, H2X 2T6
Contact: Eric Frendo, Vice President, Marketing and Sales
Phone: (514) 274-4400
Fax: (514) 274-4012

Children (3-11), Elementary, Males and Females (Co-ed), School-based, Computer-based,Health Status/Conditions

Program information last updated 3/21/12.