In Robo Riot, kids create robots with different traits and have them battle other robots that are creating havoc in the city. On its own, Robo Rio uses robots as a metaphor for genetic concepts, offering an effective way to review concepts of heredity and to clear up misconceptions at the end of a unit on heredity. The game takes on two main misconceptions: that dominant traits are better, and that randomness is relative.
Like all Possible Worlds games, the game comes with extensive support materials that teachers can use to plan an entire unit of study. Teachers looking for cross-curricular connections could have students design their own robots, or write about robots for language arts. The game also provides plenty of opportunities for class discussions about metaphor. Teachers might encourage students to think of other metaphors that would help explain genetics to students who find the concept confusing.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
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