Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
No-one knows your students as well as you do and this mode allows you to personalise the experience to meet your learning objectives and suit their ability levels.
In Create and Share you have got a very well equipped virtual lab where you can select all the elements from the game levels and a few more besides (e.g. an adjustable lens to focus a light beam and create heat) to set your own challenges and demonstrate principles to your class.
The ‘Create your own’ option is very simple to use. It gives you access to every block you will come across on the preset game levels, and gives you the control to use as many or as few as you like.
This section is all about being creative, but here’s an example to help you master it….
1. If you are planning a practical lesson on reflection, go to ‘Create a level now’, bring up an Empty screen, pull up a torch and a couple of mirrors and use this as an introduction to explore and establish your learning objectives before the lights are dimmed and your students get stuck in to the real thing.
2. If a student asks a question that you want to share with the rest of the class, it's much easier to pause the practical work, refocus them on the whiteboard and explore the question using the mirrors and torch blocks you used before. You could even add new blocks such as a lens. You can save and share these screens if you want to come back to them at a later time, such as plenary or revision.
3. Alternatively, if your students have a good knowledge of the concepts you are working on then use the 'Create and Share' mode to make the challenges complex enough to really stretch their experience. Don’t feel you always need to have a solution to every challenge you create. Why not allow the students a large number of different blocks to work with (you can choose what they have access to and how many of each tool) and set them an open-ended challenge. For example, with the 'START' and 'GOAL' next to each other, how many different blocks can they include before the ball reaches the goal?
4. Bonus points can be awarded for linking blocks to affect the path of the ball in interesting ways e.g. putting a wind turbine and conveyor belt in the path of a battery and fan.
Use the Empty screen to explore and demonstrate how individual elements work together e.g. how the heat, water tank and steam generator blocks interact and how you can use copper blocks and a fan to harness the electricity produced. What if you add a switch? Or insert a different material into the circuit? What can the fan do to the movement of a falling ball? What happens if you put a water turbine under a melting ice cube?
Use the preset options ('Criss Cross', 'High Ledge', 'Incline', 'Steps' or 'Socket') to develop your own challenges for students to support work you have covered and ensure that the level suits the range of abilities within your class. This works well for revision or homework. Why not get students to create their own levels to challenge the rest of the class?
Once you’ve created, you’ll want to share. When you’ve titled your new challenges you’ll get a code which you can pass on to your students allowing them exclusive access to your new challenges. You can also email it to your colleagues and friends and to us at the Science Museum. We’d love to see what you’ve created and it could be a valuable resource for other teachers.