Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Magic Pen: "Crayon Physics" Teaches Interactive Physics and Problem Solving

Try Magic Pen for Interactive Problem Solving
I love puzzles and I love to draw. Combine the two with a challenging game where you have to draw shapes, add levers and ramps to move a ball to a pin/flag and you have The Magic Pen.
Our Instructional Resource team showed it to me this past week and I have found it very challenging. With a touch screen, the SMART or Promethean Board, you can actually draw with your finger and the crayon draws the shapes. You can draw teeter totters, ramps, squares with levers on hinges to swing and hit the ball to make it roll, etc. The game uses real-time physics movement so you really have to use your problem solving skills to get the ball to roll where you want it to go. The fewer shapes you use to accomplish the task, the higher your score.
This will get you hooked and you will want to keep solving all the levels. I realize this game isn't too friendly for orthopedic or visual impairments, but I know there will be those of you that get a real kick out of finding a way to make math come alive to students using this. Share some tips with me as you solve these - I can get stuck pretty easy!
All the best to you!

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