Title: Kinetics Lab
Overall Rating: A
Source: Edmark at http://www.riverdeep.net/edmark/
Playing Time: 10 minutes and up
Software Release Date:
Cost: This product is included in Thinkin’Things®
Galactic Brain Benders® and can be purchased for $9.99 at Broderbund
for Macintosh and Windows versions.
Operating System: Mac
System 7.5 or higher/Windows 3.1 or higher.
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: None
Subject Area: Science--Fourth Grade and Up
Objectives: Explicitly Stated at Information
Website as follows: (1)Foster observation and visual analysis (2)Form hypotheses
(3)Experiment with tools and predict results (4)Explore basic principles of physics
including gravity, friction, motion, and inertia (5)Enhance visual creativity
Brief Description: Kinetics Lab is a virtual representation
of motion using a series of balls with different masses. Players can modify surface
texture, depth, gravity as well as add ramps, oil, and holes to the surface. Once
these are added players are able to control the variously massed balls to see
how these enhancements effect the way the balls move.
Entry Capabilities Required: Ability to use a mouse
to manipulate on screen objects. Basic understanding of physical science concepts.
Relevance to objectives: (5) This game covers all
of the objectives nicely. If the game is taken seriously students can take advantage
of all that the game has to offer.
Strong Points: This
game is graphically appealing and very addictive if you have a strong interest
for science. The built in tutorial and explicit objectives are also big plusses.
Overall the game is very easy to use.
Provides practice of relevant skills: (5) Once
students go through the tutorial on how to use the tools they get plenty of
practice. Infact, there are few limitations to the practice in which they may
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: (4) This will
definitely keep 'science minded' students playing for a great deal of time.
Interest levels may drop as students' interest in science drops.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: (3) This game
is difficult to understand if one does not go through the tutorial and even
a little difficult to control after one has completed teh tutorial.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): (4) Actual
version comes on a CD. Demo is a simple mouse click installation and you are
ready to go.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than
chance): (1) There is no way to win this
game because it is not really a game. It's a one player, experimental simulation.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate
depiction): (5) This game has a very realistic
feel and the objects move the way that they would if one could physically represent
the surface contents and object masses in the 'real world.'
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):
(5) I learned a great deal about inertia and the effects of gravity on objects
while playing the game.
Clear directions for play: (5) A hands on tutorial
is provided at the beginning of the game to ensure that students understand
how to manipulate the various surfaces and objects at their disposal.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
(5) The debriefing takes place once the student has predicted what will happen
when he/she does what they have decided to do with their surface modifications
and the path of their objects. The feed back is almost instantaneous.
Weak Points: The objectives
are not linked to any standards of any kind.
Reviewer: Justin Johnson
Position: Graduate Student/Substitute Teacher
Date Reviewed: 1/14/04
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh G4 450, 512mb