Community reviews for Coaster Crafter: Build. Ride. Scream!

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Entry event for a PBL project on coasters

This was an excellent simulation for our project on coasters and physics. A teacher needs to be comfortable implementing a game-based learning approach during the process, and students will be controlling their learning part of the time. The game is engaging and challenging. Lessons, suggestions, and resources are strong additions to this simulation.
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Great app to use prior to our Roller Coaster wars!

This is a great teaching tool to use at the end of force and motion. Vocabulary and examples would need to be defined prior to using the app. It works well with all learners in my 9th grade Science class. In the beginning students have trouble with making the roller coaster by clicking on the different curves and turns.
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Roller Coaster Fun!!

This is a fantastic site that would be great in the classroom. Students have to work their way through the challenges before they can get to the free play section so it offers the students motivation to complete each challenge. It aligns with the common core curriculum and focuses on teaching students the basic foundation of STEM in a fun way. Students will be excited to learn using this site.
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Interactive Physics Problem-Based Learning through Coasters

I love this site! It really engages the kids on what all the vocabulary terms for physics mean in terms of roller coasters. I plan to use this for 5th graders so I don't know if the two characters at the beginning (not Bruno and Brunette) but the big guy and the tattooed girl are appropriate for the age group. I love how easy it is for students to follow and I plan to use their google apps account to get them started.
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Really engaging tool for beginning physics.

Great tool for students to be introduce to a unit on motion/movement. Will give students some background knowledge to begin study.
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Coaster Creates A Craze

This is an excellent teaching tool for General or Honors Physics students. It allows students to explore/review mechanics in a virtual setting that many love - A Virtual Amusement Park!!! I think that this activity is wonderful for a small group or individual activity. I would not use this with my AP class, however, because it does not go into enough detail.
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Great for introducing velocity, force, acceleration in the Physical Sciences

Fun and free. The kids enjoy using an app that feels like a game but teaches them so much
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Excellent for reviewing energy concepts.

Engaging take on creating a roller coaster using concepts from conservation of energy. Also includes practical applications, like the need for centripetal force to keep a car from falling off the track. Slightly cheesy backstory seems to be attractive to the middle school students I teach.
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Great for reward type game time

Coaster Crafter at first seemed really cool. It offers a very simple and straightforward registration process, and you must register if you want to save your game as you play. It appears there will be a lot of game based learning going on. Student tested this site/game for me but this reviewer also tested the game play. The initial instructions were fairly clear and student’s quickly found that if they did not read or listen to all instructions they struggled more with making progress in the game. The idea of the game is to build coaster in an increasingly difficult sequence, applying strategy and elements of physics. Pedagogically speaking, you learn simple, basic concepts and continue to build on that learned knowledge as you go. While the engagement level was high, students (grade 7) questioned the behavior and primarily dress of the characters helping you through the game. They were a bit put-off by some of the outfits, citing they didn’t really feel it was appropriate for young children. When it was pointed out the people/characters were amusement park workers, the students still felt it was inappropriate. Some students made it quite far in the levels and did enjoy the game. They will most likely continue playing. They were not as engaged as they feel in other video-type games they play. Students did say there was too much “lesson” and not enough playing. I tend to agree. But that does not mean they won’t learn. There seems to be a well thought out plan for learning, but that might take more patience and perseverance than my 7th graders were willing to put in on it for the learning. They will continue to play but at their leisure.
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