Fun Physics Learning Game for Middle Schoolers

It is very rare that we get to see education and enjoyment coming together.  Filament Games is a Madison, Wisconsin based educational video game developer founded in 2005 by partners Daniel White, Daniel Norton, and Alexander Stone.

They are a design and production studio specializing in the creation of authentic gameplay mechanics that are also accurate representations of educational content. By actively embedding learning objectives within game activities, Filament's games help players transform their play experience into real world knowledge. Filament games are popular educational games in the market.

Motion Force is a physics learning game aligned to middle school science standards. Pilot a spaceship, adjusting the propulsion and direction as you learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion by avoiding obstacles and trying not to crash!

To help you on your intergalactic adventure, a whimsical race of aliens called Fuzzies offer advice and guidance about forces and motion. Filament Learning provides game-based curriculum that actively engages both students and teachers.

Each lesson, built around game-play, allows students to explore key science ideas through activities, discussions, labs, worksheets, and, of course, games. Rather than reading extensive instruction, active engagement motivates students to think like scientists and investigate the processes underlying scientific principles for themselves. Think of Filament’s curriculum as an in-class field trip that encourages students to explore, question, experiment, discover, and share their findings. Teachers can also track student progress through the teacher dashboard. The game has been made keeping the following learning objectives in mind:

-- Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

-- Understand that the motion of object is determined by the sum of forces acting on it.

-- Provide evidence that change in an object's motion depends on the forces acting on the object and the mass of the object.

Before game play, Teachers should encourage class discussion of the key concepts that students will encounter in the game. Students will have a chance to show what they know, which will give you a chance, as a teacher, to benchmark their understanding. Students learn best when actively engaged.

Therefore, students benefit when they can explore science concepts through hands-on activities that provide an optimal vehicle for helping them understand the main ideas they will encounter in the game. Students learn directly while playing the game. During the game play, let students explore the different aspects of the game. While students play, focus student thinking on particular science concepts by asking specific content-related questions.

Students will explore the primary goals and challenges of backyard engineers. Have students view the Backyard Engineers video with a partner, Instruct students to individually complete the Think-Pair-Share activity in the Student Guide. Then, have them share their answers with their partners. Finally, have students discuss their responses as a class. You may either project this activity on a whiteboard or print and distribute a copy to each student. Encourage all reasonable responses and tell students they will learn more as they play the game.

After game play, ask students to share how the experience is different from the first game play session. Have they learned any new strategies for soaking the kids next door? Students complete the Exit Slip activity in the Student Guide and submit the activity before leaving the classroom. Review the student responses before the next lesson.

Tedd Wakeman (Educator at PlayMaker School) says, "The interactive experience allowed students a clear pathway for understanding, and it encourages a collaborative environment for real-time problem solving in the classroom."

Filament Games is committed to providing real games and real learning in every game, so this game was designed from the ground up around meaningful learning objectives that inform the game play mechanics.

Filament believes that games provide authentic learning engagement for students that are otherwise difficult to reach. Robust standards-based curriculum and a progress-reporting dashboard are included with the game to help teachers make the most of this engaging learning experience in their classrooms.

The of Pricing: $5.99 per account is a one time purchase. Each student will need their own account to allow for saving and progress tracking.

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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