Sunday, April 18, 2010

10 Sources of Educational Science Games

Energy Kids provides a wealth of easily accessible information about energy which students can use to play games, solve riddles, and take quizzes about energy. Some of the games students will find include Energy Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and riddles. Energy Kids also provides students of all ages with ideas and outlines for science fair projects around the energy theme. The science fair projects are available as free PDF downloads.

Rice University has partnered with CBS, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the National Science Foundation to produce educational web adventures based on the CSI television series. The web adventures are designed to teach students the process of forensic investigation and problem solving. There are three cases or levels to the CSI web adventures. Unlike a lot of educational games, the CSI Web Adventures are created with the highest quality graphics and navigational features.

The Minnesota Zoo has some fun activities and games that students can use to learn about tigers and wolves. The tiger portion of the Minnesota Zoo's website has five games designed for students age 10 and above. There are five activities or games in the tiger section. All five games can be played online.

The Bronx Zoo has a good page of resources for elementary school and middle school educators. Among the resources available on the Bronx Zoo's educators page are videos (served via YouTube), lesson plans, and interactive online activities. There are four interactive online activities designed for elementary school and middle school audiences. The interactive activities include two identification games, a quiz, and a narrated slideshow about camels adapting to their environments.

eChalk offers a mix of free and premium (fee required) educational games. One of the free games is Periodic Table Tetris. Periodic Table Tetris uses the style of the classic video game Tetris to help students memorize the periodic table of elements. To play the game, students use their keyboard's arrow keys to move element blocks into the proper place. The game has three levels for students to progress through.

Crickweb is a UK-based website offering a good collection of simple games for young learners. On Crickweb you can find games for students to practice and learn the basics of numeracy, literacy, geography, history, and science. There is also a collection of games for used on Promethean whiteboards.

Shape It Up is one of many good educational games and activities on Kinetic City. Shape It Up is an activity that would be good for use in an elementary school Earth Science lesson. The activity presents students with "before" and "after" images of a piece of Earth. Students then have to select the force nature and the span of time it took to create the "after" picture. If students choose incorrectly, Shape It Up will tell the student and they can choose again.

Stop Disasters is a game designed for students to learn about natural disasters, disaster prevention, and city design. There are five game scenarios that students can play. Students can plan to prepare for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis. The scenarios are set in geographically accurate contexts of Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean.

NASA Space Place is a sizable collection of fun projects, games, animations, and lessons about Earth, space, and technology. Before playing the games or attempting one of the projects, students should explore the animations and facts sections to gain some background information.

Learning Media is a New Zealand based company that produces curriculum materials for schools. A lot of their products are only available by purchase, but they do offer some good free resources. Some of the free resources include a collection of seven math, science, and writing games for elementary school and middle school students. In addition to online play, the games can be downloaded as a zip file for use on your PC.