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Author

PBS Kids

Grades

K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Subjects

Science, Biology, Engineering, Computer Science & Design Thinking

Resource Type

  • Game, CC

Regional Focus

Global

Ari's Wonderful Ideas

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  • This fun engineering game lets students design and test a vehicle inspired by animal and plant features. 
  • Students will learn how different species are adept at moving in their environments. 

Positives

  • This game is fun and engaging for students at nearly every ability level. 
  • Students will use critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity as they learn about how different animals move. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should listen to the introduction before clicking through to the game.
  • Students should play the game in full-screen mode to see all of the buttons.
  • Slower internet connections may take a while to load the game. 
  • Teachers with younger students may want to demonstrate how to work the controls; older students will likely find it intuitive. 

Differentiation

  • Art classes could use this game for a lesson on design or taking inspiration from nature. 
  • Have students design a vehicle, test it, and report back on what happened. Let each student keep designing until they've created a vehicle that is successful in the terrain they've chosen. Ask them what steps they had to take to find success.
  • For a fun extension, have students choose the components of their vehicle at random. Then, have them predict what will happen to their vehicle in each setting. If they are right, celebrate their design thinking. If they aren't, discuss what happened that was outside of their prediction. 
  • Other related resources include these games that teach about the environment, this game that teaches about ecosystem services, and this video about ecosystem dynamics. 
The resource contains an interesting game for students to design a vehicle that could adapt to different topography or natural environment, using nature-based solutions. They could also modify the vehicle design or specifications at any point in time to suit the changing pattern of the environment. This is ideal for the classroom.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
      • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
      • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
      • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
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