Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Teachers can use this game as an introduction to simple machines or basic physics concepts. Get students to play through a few levels and then share some of their solutions in front of the whole class. Use these talk alouds as a way to identify and define terms like "gravity" or point out the use of fulcrums.Teachers can also issue challenges to students, getting them to design levels that use particular simple machines or demonstrate concepts. These projects can be done in teams, and shared with the class as a whole. To get students experience with game design, have the class play and provide feedback for the levels. Then, based on this feedback, students should tweak their level designs. Play can be extended and contextualized through hands-on building and experimentation with projects from Make Online or DIY.Continue reading Show less
In Crayon Physics Deluxe, students draw the world into being -- a world infused with physics concepts and simple machines -- to solve puzzles in ways only bound by their imaginations. With each level, students must guide a ball to a star. Sometimes this means drawing ramps, sometimes it means creating makeshift machines operated by gravity, or which take advantage of momentum. Students can replay each level as many times as they choose, inventing new solutions, or improving on their previous ones. Data from their attempts is displayed on a score screen. Kids may also create their own levels for play, and can share them online with other players.
Despite limited explicit instruction, students are presented with opportunities for constructivist, conceptual learning -- learning that's accessible to students of a wide grade range and of a variety of ability levels. Dropping weights, building constructs, and interactive drawings allow students to intuit an understanding of important physics concepts like gravity, acceleration, and leverage while using simple machines like inclined planes and levers. The physics knowledge students gain has a very practical purpose because the better students understand these concepts and tools, the more options they have to solve levels. And since there's a variety of solutions, students can help each other out and return to the experience again and again.
Key Standards Supported
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.