MATH GAMES FOR ONE PLAYER
VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The aim of this contribution is to introduce mathematical interactive games created with the support of the STEM4youth project (see http://www.stem4youth.eu/). The STEM4youth is a project supported by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and this project is focused on a popularization of STEM subjects among young people. The outputs of the STEM4youth project cover seven main subjects, such as mathematics, physics or medicine. The authors of this contribution created educational materials in mathematics.
Educational games constitute an important class of methods in teaching on all levels of education. These games develop key competences and stimulate creativity and interest in the topic. In the STEM4youth project we authored educational games focused on training and strengthening mathematical skills. These games help in revision and better understanding of math topics from the class. The games are divided into thirteen areas which cover the high school mathematic courses in the major part of Europe.
We created the games for individuals and also games for two competing players or two competing teams. These games can be also used for home learning.
The games are distributed as PDF files and an interactive blackboard or a computer with Adobe Reader are required. Note that alternative PDF readers cannot be used.
In the project we developed four different types of games. Two types are two-player games and these games are discussed in the contribution “Math games for two players”. The other two types, the Funny picture game and the Puzzle game are designed as single-player games. In the project we created 60 Funny picture games and 101 Puzzle games.
The Funny picture games are games which can be used to practice math skills and knowledge obtained in the class. Each game contains a small database of at least 13 questions (26 questions in average, 44 questions maximum) from one subject. A random generator associates 12 questions from this database with fields on a rectangular gameboard. Answering the questions, the player uncovers parts of a hidden picture with math joke.
Also the Puzzle games are intended to consolidate and strengthen math knowledge obtained in the class. Given list of questions and possible answers the player has to make correct pairs of questions and answers to these questions. Uncommon and attractive supplements in these games are quotations of famous persons which are not always treated as mathematicians. Each correct pair of a question and an answer uncovers a part of the hidden quotation. The score (the number of incorrect attempts) is recorded during the game and evaluated at the end. This gives the feedback to the player.
Each game is distributed as a single file in PDF format. The advantages of this concept are similar as those described in the contribution “Math games for two players”. However, to achieve the functionality described in our contribution we had to use some unusual approach which is not always straightforward or obvious even for skilled PDF authors. Without going into deep technical details, we uncover the main concepts which have been used to create the games.
The STEM4youth project is still running. The materials have not been tested in a class yet. However, the authors work in this area (interactive math games) since 2010. In the contribution we will also share our experiences with similar games (predecessors of the STEM4youth games) in Czech schools.
Keywords: Math interactive games, PDF, games for one player, Funny picture, Puzzle game.