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Game for Science

What it is: Game for Science has to be one of the coolest virtual worlds for kids.  This virtual world is dedicated to getting kids excited about science and technology.  Students can explore various virtual islands where they will learn about health, aeronautics, genomics, environment, engineering and more.  Students can learn more about science careers, what scientists do, play games, learn interesting facts, and explore science photos and videos.  Students can play the Game for Science as a tourist without registering, or they can register for an account (this requires an email address with confirmation).  This is an outstanding way for kids to get excited about science and technology.  As students travel through the virtual world, they can collect neurons (smart stars) by answering questions and playing games.  The neurons can be used to purchase items for their avatar. How to integrate Game for Science into the classroom: Game for Science is a great way to introduce new science topics or areas of science.  The virtual world will capture interest and keep students wanting to learn more about each topic.  If you teach younger students (without email addresses), visit the virtual world as a class on the interactive whiteboard or the projector.  Give each student a turn to direct the journey through Game for Science.  The rest of the class can jot down observations in a science notebook that can be used in later learning and experiments.  Students who can read independently can visit the site individually on classroom computers as a science center or in a computer lab setting.  Older students can register for an account and earn neuron points for their characters.  This is a fun site for students just to explore and interact with; however, for use in the classroom, you can direct students to specific islands to study.  For example, as you begin a unit on the environment, students can visit the corresponding island.  Game for Science makes for a great jumping off point that will grab students attention and interest in the subject they will be learning about. Tips: There is a chat feature on the registered version of Game for Science, this allows students to interact as they discover new islands and talk science. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Game for Science in your classroom.

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Day of Play: Mechanical Bulls, Time Machines, Dancing and Mustaches

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Create, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary | Posted on 08-10-2012

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Maybe you have heard of Caine’s Arcade?  It is a little movement, started by an 8 year old.  This video will restore your faith in humanity and inspire you big time!  It inspired us at Anastasis Academy, so much so that when the second video came out, inviting us to a Day of Play, we were all in.

On Friday, Anastasis held our own Day of Play.  We collected boxes (lots and lots of boxes), tape, markers, pipe cleaners, glue, aluminum foil, rubber bands, tubes, scissors and paper.  Then, we let the kids at it.  There were no parameters, no specific rules or directions.  The goal for our students was to dream as big as they could. It is amazing what happens when you invite kids to dream and build apart from any rules or expectations of what the end goal is.  Our students (k-8) gathered in our big “all in” room and built to their hearts content.  The amazing part: no two ideas were the same.  We had plink-o, a fortune teller, a minecraft adventure, a time machine (complete with crystal), ski ball, tilt the ball, an old-school computer made of new parts, a hotdog/snow cone stand, dance dance revolution, ferris wheel, tanks, and a mechanical bull.  You read correctly, a mechanical bull.

The students spent about 3 hours dreaming and building.  Some had plans they created the day before, others came in with a blank slate.  After all of the building (and a break for lunch) we gathered to play each others games.  It was SO much fun!  Students even created their own prizes that could be won (mustaches and uni-brows anyone?).

The casual observer might have watched this all go down and seen chaos or a waste of time.  A closer look would have revealed the rich learning taking place.  The problem solving, critical thinking, discovery, planning, rich conversations, kids working together, designing, creativity.  Have you ever seen those words describe a worksheet? A lecture?  This was such a RICH learning experience in so many ways.  Best of all: it built and fostered a culture of working together, learning from each other and enjoying each other.  That is no small feat.

I saw genius today. I am SO proud of these kids, they truly are geniuses.  Two of our students (different classes and ages) built a tank together.  The tank shot rubber bands and launched a “cannon” water bottle.  These boys decided that the rubber band shooter and cannon should have a “safety” just in case something slipped so that they wouldn’t accidentally shoot anything.  The way they worked this out was truly brilliant.  The cannon water bottle was held in place by a popsicle stick safety.  The rubber band shooter was attached to pipe cleaner that kept the rubber band from releasing unless the safety was off.

Our youngest kids built and manned a hotdog/snow cone stand.  My favorite part of the stand was the signs that they created for it.  One of the signs read “Snow cones choose a color: limeade, raspberry, blueberry, grape.”  I love that it said choose a color, not choose a flavor.  SO stinking cute!

A dance-loving student created the cardboard version of dance, dance revolution.  She created a dance mat with different colors on it.  Then, she climbed behind her box and flashed construction paper colors. When the color showed up, the player had to step on the matching color on the mat.  Periodically, she would hold up signs that said things like, “you are on fire” or “fail”.  Brilliant!

Check out our Day of Play below:

Personalized learning should be available to EVERY child, every day. The Learning Genome Project makes that possible.  Please help me spread the word and contribute!

Comments (1)

[…] to create iPad styluses out of sponge and wire for less than 10 cents.  Last year we held an all-school day of play (highly recommend that!) and marshmallow/spaghetti tower challenge.  This year we have some fun […]

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