As a result of the formation of a professional learning community through our Noyce grant I have begun working on how to use video games as a hook to help students learn various physics concepts with the help of one of our master teachers (Berkil Alexander) and two of our teaching fellows (Tracey Beyer and Philip Money) all of whom are teaching in surrounding school districts. This project, though in it's infancy will have many different types of applications. The first will be lesson plans that teachers can use directly in their classrooms either from video clips we have created (see the example below) or of lessons that allow students to play the game and draw concepts on their own. Next, we will have video game vignettes, which will be a short clip that has a particular question attached to it. Finally, we are working with our colleagues in the gaming design department to create a video game that not only teaches the physics, but is a game that students want to play.
Check back often as more games, vignettes, and lessons are added.
ROLLER COASTER TYCOON LESSON
LESSON PLAN: This lesson plan has students watch the above video of Roller Coaster Tycoon. Topics include Velocity & Acceleration, Forces and Energy. There is a research extension that can be used for project based learning courses and there is a game play extension.
VIDEO GAME VIGNETTES
Note, some of these questions may require a little bit of research to find some quantities.
In this clip from Grand Theft Auto V, what is g for this planet? What other values can you find? What assumptions did you need to make? How much work did he do when trying to push the car?
In this clip from Armored Core IV, how much force was required to lift the robot? What was the change in energy for the robot?
In this clip from NCAA 08 Football, how much force did the quarterback exert on the ball? How high did the ball go? What was the speed that the receiver caught the ball with?
In this clip from NCAA 08 Football, what is the halfbacks average speed past the offensive line?
In this clip from Grand Theft Auto V, how long is the race track? How fast does the motorcycle go? Why does the character bend to the side around the turns?
In this clip from Grand Theft Auto V, what is the angular velocity of the golf cart? How many g's does the driver experience?
In this clip from Grand Theft Auto V, how much kinetic energy does the golf cart have before the jump, at the top and at the bottom?
In this clip from Grand Theft Auto V, what is the average speed of the golf cart? (Hint, the par 5 is 542 yards).
Feel free to email any questions or comments to me at email@example.com. If you would like to add some to your list, send the link and the question and you will be credited with the vignette as well.