Game Based Learning is getting a lot of traction lately - and many students are easily entertained with digital games. Incorporating science concepts and deep learning is possible with carefully constructed games. It is also possible for students to create their own games, from simple digital game boards to arcade-style games. Andrew Miller describes how to construct curriculum units using a video gaming model in this Edutopia article, "Get Your Game On!".
Here are some resources to assist you to incorporate games into your science and maths classes:
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Catchment DeTox , from the ABC, is an interactive game in a virtual catchment. Can you successfully manage a river catchment and create a thriving and sustainable economy? You are in charge of the whole catchment. You get to decide what activities you undertake - whether to plant crops, log forests, build factories or set up national parks. The aim is to avoid environmental problems and provide food and wealth for the population. Managing Australia's waterways is a huge challenge with climate change, increased demand for water and environmental problems putting our rivers under stress. Catchment Detox gives an idea of just how difficult it is to manage a river catchment. I have used this with my Year 12 Environmental Science students and Year 11 Biology students to learn about environmental management systems and the impacts of humans on our environment.
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Spongelab , a global science community, has games and interactives for Biology, Physics, Chemistry and more - these are highly recommended and are graded beginner, intermediate and advanced. You and your students will need to register (free), but you can create classes and build lessons, then keep track of student progress.
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Game Boards, from Jefferson County Schools, has downloadable templates for creating digital board games and cards. These simple tools are all that is needed for students to create their own games about any topic - Diseases, Recycling, Pollution, Conservation, Mining for example. Ask students to write a list of positive and negatives to use as cards that allow you to move forward or step back.
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Lure of the Labyrinth is a maths game and an adventure, where students choose a pet, which is kidnapped and needs to be rescued. Enter a strange world of monsters and crazy quests to retrieve your pet. Suitable for middle-school, pre-algebra students. It is aligned to state and national maths standards (UK?).
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Gamequarium has a great range of links to science games for all ages.
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Time Twins ,created to celebrate the Year of Einstein and National Science Week, is fast moving and fun for kids - You are on a mission to travel in time to collect pieces of a machine and return to your twin before he gets "old and smelly"!
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Planet Science has games and activities for under and over 11's, with a parents and teachers section and experiments.
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Online Games, from Engaging Science has a range of games about rock layers, phases of the moon, wild wetlands, foodwebs and sound using glasses of water. Suitable for primary students.
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Classtools.com and Quizlet can be used to create games using your own questions.