Storm Seekers isn't designed to comprehensively teach about weather; instead, it carves out one portion of the content -- how weather conditions result in specific weather patterns -- and covers that well. It can function as a great bridge between a basic lecture or independent study on weather conditions/patterns and deeper exploration of how and why those patterns emerge. It can be used both as homework or as in-class individual or partnered activity. And since it does a good job of weaving instruction into play, there's little teaching that needs to be done during play. However, it might be a good idea to roam around and get students to talk through their thinking processes, so that they demonstrate they're thinking critically rather than guessing randomly.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Storm Seekers is no longer available on the Filament Games website.
Storm Seekers is a single-player, browser-based weather prediction game designed to teach students about weather patterns and the influence of the environment on those patterns. It features a mix of artistic polish, unique content coverage, and an engaging game mechanic focused on weather prediction. Students think critically as they look at a map of weather patterns, and then make predictions about the weather patterns. They make these predictions by moving a weather balloon to three designated geographical locations on the map, and then select each location's most likely weather pattern based on humidity, wind direction/speed, and terrain. Points are awarded based on the complexity and success of the predictions.
The best thing about Storm Seekers is that it's both thorough and easy to grasp. It will teach students -- through some educated guessing and trial-and-error -- the factors that affect weather patterns and how to predict weather based on these factors. It definitely helps that the art style of the game is sharp, adding an extra layer of engagement. But beyond being pretty, content is well-communicated through icons and menus. Still, things can feel a bit slow, and the awkward point-and-click interaction isn't on its own very absorbing. More important, however, Storm Seekers accomplishes its learning goals -- goals that are relatively rarely in the educational game space -- and attentive students will be satisfied. There's also more content coming: A future update will allow for a wider variety of weather and will grant students the ability to change the weather. This update will give the product more depth and provide a greater challenge for students, while giving them a broader opportunity for understanding.