We are excited to announce the release of our brand new educational game for the iPad, available immediately—for free—in the iTunes App Store. The game is targeted to anyone with an interest in our planet’s history, and the evolution of life upon it, across age brackets. Developed in partnership with Better World Coding and supported in part by an Education and Outreach Grant from the Paleontological Society, the game compresses 4.6 billion years of Earth history into a single minute, challenging players to identify when major events (like the rise of oxygen, the evolution of animals, or the extinction of dinosaurs) happened. Players can compete against each other for the best score and follow links to learn more about each event.
We developed this game, which grew out of our hands-on outreach activities with the Cambridge Science Festival’s Science on the Street and our annual to-scale geologic timeline installation, with classroom use in mind. The Next Generation Science Standards include geological time and Earth history (MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, MS-ESS1-4: Earth’s Place in the Universe). With more than 8 million iPads in educational institutions around the world, we hope this app will provide an engaging and captivating teaching tool to allow students to test their knowledge, compete with each other, and build their intuition about geologic scales of time.
We have exciting plans up our sleeves to develop this project further, in several directions: more features for the iPad game, and an outreach version for informal science educators to deploy this game as a multiplayer booth for science fairs, museums, festivals, and community outreach. Watch this space!
For questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact Ben Kotrc, FCL’s education and public outreach lead.