Science Game Review: Shape it Up

Several months ago I had been researching geology games to inspire me with some ideas for our upcoming curriculum over we are working on.  Searching for free educational games online is a painful process (but I’m working on it….more on that later) and finding anything interactive was hard enough, much less something I’d call a game.

volcanoRecently, I came across  Shape it Up, which is my favorite geology interactive so far.   Players try to make one landscape look like another by choosing a force of nature (volcano, wind, water, glacier) and choosing a time period.

This is a wonderful game for young kids.  There are several components that I think can be added or modified in order to make the game more sophisticated for middle school kids. 1) I’d like to see a more rule-based structure around it in order to make it more game-like.

2) Choose geological features that are the result of multiple natural forces and allow students to experiment with those forces.

3) Let students fail and see the results of their failed states.

4) Add elements where students are using forces to create smaller items such as various rocks and minerals in addition the the buttes, islands, and rivers.

Of course, it speaks to the original idea that it can be scaled up or down quite dramatically depending on the students’ age.  Nice work!

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