Thursday, March 8, 2012

Angry Birds Space and NASA team up for fun science


I have always thought that games made an excellent learning tool when done right, with the right support by the teacher. Many video games teach students actual content knowledge, but most of them teach critical thinking and problem solving techniques. Research has shown that video games are effective as learning tools and many companies are working on educational video games. But, other video games can be used educationally also.

I love Angry Birds. I've have played, and solved, every version of the game and every level. It's one of those games you can't put down. I've played on my old Palm Pre+, my HP TouchPad, my Droid Incredible 2, and even on Chrome. My students and I are always talking about the new levels and how to solve them. I also use it in my Physics class to allow students to have fun while investigating forces, motion, momentum, angles and projectile motion. They have to analyze the problem and think through solutions. They learn and have fun.

Angry Birds Space is due out March 22nd (can't wait!) and NASA has teamed up with Angry Birds for this new game. There will be no gravity in Angry Birds Space. 
Angry Birds Space will launch simultaneously on iOS and Android, Mac and PC, animation, merchandise, and book publishing on March 22. The game hits the appstores with 60 puzzling levels, new Angry Birds characters, new superpowers, and new gameplay. More levels will be available both as free regular updates, as well as in-app purchases.
Speaking from the space station, Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA used Angry Birds Space to explain the unique properties of physics in space, including a demonstration of a catapult in zero gravity using an Angry Bird.

"In space, no one can hear you squeal" (see if your students know what movie that line is adapted from. It's Alien).

As an educator, I am always looking for new, engaging ways to teach my students. Using video games is a great way to do this.

Share video games that you use for education!


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