Science Game Night
Gamification is an increasingly popular strategy for learning. While its tangible benefits may not be well established by researchers, it certainly can't hurt to try. Whether you're aiming to pull off a DIY impromptu game night tonight or just getting the ball rolling on planning one soon, we've put together a list of science-inspired games for you to check out!
SCIENCE TRADING CARDS
Phylo is a crowd-sourced, biodiversity-themed card game that anyone can order at a revenue-neutral price or download and print at home for free. There are over 1000 trading cards, as well as a few specialty decks with their own sets of rules. Genetics Society of America (GSA) created a version focused on model organisms and experiments with cards that invites anyone to experience a taste of what its like to be a researcher. Protip: you can expand the game by adding your own cards!
The Stroop Effect refers to a phenomenon that demonstrates the challenge your brain faces when reconciling competing signals, such as naming the color of the word "blue" when its written in red. "Stroop" turns this concept into a game, testing your skills and demonstrating the ways the brain does - and doesn't - work.
CHEMISTRY IN ACTION
Take on the role of the director of a lab who is trying to make a particular chemical compound before their rivals. "Compounded" is a chemistry-inspired board game that incorporates both educational elements - like empirical formulas and atomic arrangements - with game-changing characteristics like how the volatility of certain compounds changes over time.
WOMEN IN SCIENCE
In 2015, Luana Games ran a successful Indiegogo campaign to fund the creation of an easy-to-play card game featuring the stories of women in science throughout history. The game can be downloaded and printed, purchased online, or playing virtually. You can also read the biographies of featured women - such as Euphemia Haynes and Grace Hopper - on the game's website.
MIT's Scratch is a free online platform where anyone can learn to program using a simple language. Though it was designed for kids, it's a great way for adults to learn the basics of coding in a world increasingly shaped by computers. Co-create an animation with your kids, setup a competition to tell the best visual science story with friends, or just settle in and learn something new on your own.