I love to do things which help me learn. CircuitWarz, or anything by Tabula digital have been great ideas, but are seriously lacking in gameplay mechanics, and (yes, I'm going to say it) graphics. The aesthetics are nice, but it doesn't hold my interest the same way Halo, or final fantasy does with fluid systems.
Secondly, I have asked for this before, but... Unity 3D programs should be more like tools for a workshop. Somewhere I can build a machine, or circuit. Maybe these designs could be added to the game world as epic items should they work as designed? This would envelope design, and critical thinking, with actual plasma guns (why doesn't the guy from Doom get vaporized while blowing his plasma load at a demon whose attempting to get his power source back?), or bladeless helicopters (how are you going to shoot me down if your rocket doesn't hit anything?). Engineering mixed into an MMO! Give scientists the privilege to create epic items. They might play more if they could contribute?
Microeconomics. Have the players buy the epics created by the scientific community. There's a way to make money!