Ratio errors confuse a dodgeball coach as two teams face off in an epic tournament. See how mathematical techniques such as tables, graphs, measurements and equations help to find the missing part of a proportion.
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True love has the right ratio. In this humorous animation, the number of words spoken by each partner predicts whether a date goes well or horribly. What do you do when someone asks if you listen to country music backwards, but won't let you get a word in edgewise?
Game Over Gopher is an exciting tower defense game that guides students in plotting coordinate pairs, differentiating negative coordinates from positive coordinates, and identifying the four quadrants. Hungry space gophers are marching towards a prize carrot, and to defend it players place tools around the coordinate grid to “feed” gophers and make them lose interest. Ruby mines (which must be placed at designated x, y coordinates) yield currency that players spend to strategically place carrot launchers, garlic rays, corn silos, and beet traps – gopher feeding tools. To introduce students to the coordinate grid, Game Over Gopher introduces new skills via interactive tutorials and uses consistent visual clues (e.g., x red, y blue) to guide players in plotting coordinates. This means it’s not necessary to teach students coordinate plotting ahead of time. As the levels progress, the number of tools available increases, the level of math vocabulary increases, the scale of the grid changes, and players are asked to expand their mastery of the grid by reflecting points across axes. The game lowers intimidation about the coordinate grid, helps students understand how positive and negative numbers reflect each other across the axes, and helps students get comfortable with the four quadrants.
"Shadows are corrupting the land. Restore the balance of nature by exploring place value. Gate guides students in: lowering intimidation about large numbers and
decimals, understanding the meaning of place value, and realizing that the same mathematical concepts that apply to the ""easy"" integers apply to every order of magnitude."
In this interactive, learners develop the skills to handle a horse safely before entering the corral for the first time. The interactive consists of three stages, each explaining an aspect of the safety procedures necessary for leading a horse.
In Monster School Bus, students play a newly hired bus driver with a certain number of seats on the bus. The mission: to pick up each neighborhood’s little monsters and bring them to school – without dividing up groups (monsters don’t like that).
In early levels, each little monster takes up one seat and players combine integers to add up to 10. Each new neighborhood exposes learners to a more complex set of numbers, including decimals and fractions. The design of characters and locations gives the game an edgy look, and provides a more mature atmosphere to a game covering fairly juvenile content (e.g., buildings transform into punk Monster Buildings as a reward for picking up kids). This is important: though students learn this concept of number chunking in earlier grades, they often fail to understand it conceptually. Therefore, this content could turn off older students if they feel the game is “below them.” The edgy character design helps make the content feel more age-appropriate, and the graphical details impact gameplay and motivate players to visualize numbers as sets and quantities and think harder about relationships among numbers and number systems.
Speed is important, but in this kitchen, safety comes first. Ninja Kitchen is an educational food safety game that helps learners internalize strategies for avoiding cross-contamination, cooking meat to the proper temperature, and keeping foods cold to prevent microbial growth. In early levels, contamination is visible as a green film on food or plates. In later levels it becomes invisible, and players use strategies learned in earlier levels to keep their customers safe. The Ninja Kitchen project aimed to address youth food-handling responsibilities and to help overcome obstacles they encounter in practicing food safety, such as limited knowledge of foodborne disease and preventative behaviors, psychosocial factors (i.e., attitudes, locus of control, self-efficacy), and their existing habits in handling food. A study with ~400 middle schoolers, conducted by Rutgers researchers, indicated Ninja Kitchen was effective in improving food safety knowledge, attitudes and intentions.
Whole numbers are no better than any others! Practice plotting values on the number line as a passionate activist rises up and demands equity for all numbers, including fractions and decimals.
Two besotted rulers must embrace proportional units in order to unite their lands. It takes mathematical reasoning to identify the problem, and solution, when engineers from Queentopia and Kingopolis build a bridge to meet in the middle of the river.
Navigate the number line while diving amidst shipwrecks and sunken ruins. Will you find a pearl, or an old boot? Watch out for the electric eel! Pearl Diver teaches properties of numbers, how to plot numbers, how to visualize quantity on the number line, how to order numbers, and how to use the number line as a visual model for mathematical operations.
Pearl Diver is a fun, interactive web-based game and app for iPad and iPhone. Players learn the number line while diving for pearls amidst shipwrecks and sunken ruins. This learning game addresses standard mathematic concepts included in the current Common Core curriculum such as:
-understanding numbers, ways of representing numbers, and number systems
-understanding and representing commonly used fractions
-understanding fractions as part of unit wholes and as locations on number lines
-comparing and ordering fractions, and finding their approximate locations on the number line
Pearl Diver is supported by supplementary materials including teacher’s guide, learner’s guide, “Teaching With Pearl Diver” video, and printable resources. It is available in English and Spanish. This game is available free on the Apple App Store.
This project was sponsored by NSF and developed by the Learning Games Lab in collaboration with researchers and mathematicians in the College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University.
Press Release Links:
Pearl Diver ACE award
Funding for Math Snacks (includes image of Pearl Diver)
Links to scholarly publications:
Trespalacios, J., & Chamberlin, B. (2012). Pearl Diver: Identifying numbers on a number line. Teaching Children’s Mathematics, 18, 446-447.
Growers, packing centers, and retailers rely on one another to prevent contamination and keep consumers safe. Four animations illustrate how contamination can spread from field to table and suggest ways to avoid this. Applicable to various tree and ground fruits including cantaloupe, cucumbers, and strawberries, the animations follow the lifespan of an imaginary "purple fruit," highlighting danger points at each stage of the process and suggesting best practices for keeping produce free from contamination. Although the animations are brief, they include "Pause Points" (recommended spots to pause the video) where a presenter can discuss, distribute additional materials or reinforce learning during a training.
Ratey pops up when you least expect him. And he can't resist pointing out the rates and "purrportions" in daily life. It turns out that everyday decisions rely on mathematical reasoning about rates.
The battle is on in this game where you build your own potions! Check your ratios to win this mixture mix-off. Ratio Rumble guides students in: identifying ratios when used in a variety of contextual situations; providing visual representations of ratios; solving common problems or communicating by using rate, particularly unit rates; and explaining why ratios and rates naturally relate to fractions and decimals.
The evil Scaleo has escaped from prison and is transforming the length, width, and height of objects until they become useless – or dangerous. Who can put things right? Superheroine Scale Ella uses the power of scale factor to foil the villain.
Science of Soil modules are fun animations and hands-on interactives to foster learning on key concepts that can hinder understanding of soils topics -- such as logarithms, graph reading, and multidimensional thinking. They were created to fill the gaps in Soil and Environmental Science undergraduates' knowledge of key concepts in the classroom.
Adding acidic ingredients is an important way to protect foods from dangerous toxins produced by organisms like C. botulinum, a microbe that is common and harmless in the environment but deadly when sealed with food in a jar. In the lab, testing the pH of a substance (how acidic or basic it is) provides important information for ensuring food safety. This module introduces users to proper sampling techniques when testing pH and explains how adjusting a food’s acidity can keep it safe from C. bot. Virtual Labs – Acidifying Salsa familiarizes the user with food science lab equipment and teaches standard techniques for sampling. The interactive animation guides the user through theory and practice of adjusting pH, so they will have familiarity with the equipment and procedures when encountered in a real lab.
The concept of water activity is important to food preservation. When water activity is less than 0.6, almost all microbes, including bacteria, molds, and yeasts, stop growing. Vegetables are usually dried even further, to water activity of 0.3 or 0.2, for quality and storage. Virtual Labs – Controlling Water Activity in Food explores a traditional method of preserving corn by drying. In this virtual laboratory, learners test water activity levels of dried corn and explore how they change under three different storage environments. The interactive animation guides users through the theory and practice of sampling a food product, using a water activity meter, and setting up replicates, to build familiarity with concepts and procedures used in real food science labs. Before beginning this lab, it may be useful to complete Virtual Labs – Understanding Water Activity.
Testing the pH of a substance (how acidic or basic it is) is a basic lab test and provides a important piece of information for natural science investigations. In food science, the pH of a substance – how acidic or basic it is – is key to how it functions in food recipes. This module introduces users to the pH scale and its uses in food science. Then, users learn how to use the pH meter, and calibrate it by measuring solutions of standard value. Virtual Labs – the pH Scale & Meter Calibration familiarizes the user with food science lab equipment and teaches standard techniques for this specific procedure. The interactive animation guides the user through theory and practice of using the pH scale and pH measurement, so they will have familiarity with the equipment and procedures when encountered in a real lab.
Moist foods – like fresh fruit or raw meat – often have high water activity and spoil quickly. But some foods that seem moist – like jam or pepperoni – don’t spoil as quickly. Why is this? All living things need water to survive. Enzymes and chemical reactions also require water. If water activity is less than 0.6, almost all microbes, including bacteria, molds, and yeasts, stop growing. This means that food can be preserved against spoilage by lowering its water activity – whether by evaporating water away or binding it up. Virtual Labs – Understanding Water Activity familiarizes the user with food science lab equipment and standard techniques for measuring water activity. The interactive animation guides the user through both theory and practice, preparing them for experiences in a real lab. Complete this lab first, then follow up with Virtual Labs – Controlling Water Activity.