Friday, February 6, 2015

STEM/STEAM games that Rock! Part 1

As a mom, blogger and Science Technology Engineering (Arts) and Math teacher, I'm always checking out new math, science, puzzle or invention apps and trying them out on my children. Here's a list of the ones I or one of my children has obsessed over in the last month.  I usually get my recommendations from Graphite, because I have a full time job at work, at home and I'm a coach (not for sports, for STEM, but more on that another day).
Tinkerbox   This jewel of an engineering app was brought into the world by Autodesk of AutoCAD fame.  These folks over there are SERIOUS engineers and yet, my seven year old can play this game for quite a while. I love to watch him play. He loves the music and says he finds it calming and that it "helps him solve the problems".

Dragon Box after playing for 5 minutes
What I particularly love about this iPad app is that he is constantly in the "Develop and Prototype/Test the Solution" loop of the Engineering Design Process.  This little guy adjusts the position of the catapult button or electric fan by a millimeter, tests it and then readjusts as many times as necessary until he achieves SUCCESS!

DragonBox 5+ and DragonBox 12+
Dude, the kids ask me to do Algebra.  Every. Day.  My 7 year old solved a multivariable equation for x (the dragonbox) after playing this game for 45 minutes.  Zoinks!  There are two versions, 5+ and 12+, according to age.  Definitely play this game with your kid.  It's math like it shoulda been!  The sound effects and graphics remind me a little of World of Goo meets OmNom from Cut the Rope (both excellent STEM apps, also!) and the sound effect when you isolate the DragonBox is like a light saber! GeekDad at Wired Magazine went crazy over how it was better than angry birds.

That's all I have time for right now, gotta put the kids to bed and get ready to teach my Engineering & Design classes tomorrow!  More tomorrow...

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