Kinetic City is a web-based science program that will help you learn more about a lot of different science topics. This resource has a great collection of science experiments, games, activities, challenges, and more. You can choose to enter the Lab Car, where there is a selection of a bunch of different Mind Games, or you can save the virtual Earth from the science-distorting computer virus, Deep Delete.
In addition to these two areas, there are the Science Gym and Spark Club. Science Gym combines physical education with science learning, using jumping, running, and dancing activities that boost both pulse rates and science IQ! In the Spark Club, hands-on, after-school activities introduce you to energy and sustainability topics such as solar and wind power.
Kinetic City combines online fun and hands-on learning. There are several different parts to this site, each of which can be used for different purposes.
With each new mission in Mission to Vearth, a computer virus called Deep Delete distorts the science on Planet Vearth, a virtual Earth. Children learn what happens on Vearth as a result, and then try to save the planet by re-learning the lost science. They do this by forming teams and performing five learning activities over a two-week period. Once all the teams have performed these five activities and re-learned the lost science of Planet Vearth, they take their Mission to Vearth challenge: a computer game that tests their science knowledge. In it, they use their Brain Trains to gobble up Deep Delete viruses, and earn Kinetic City Power Points for themselves, their teams, and their Clubs.
In addition to Mission to Vearth, students can learn more about the human body and get moving by doing the different activities in the Science Gym. And, they can learn more about energy and sustainability topics such as solar and wind power by doing the activities in Spark Club.
Try out these activities!
- Smart Art: Contraption!
Here, students are given the chance to make a complex machine that does something simple. This activity is inspired by the drawings of the famous cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew elaborate inventions that took a comically complicated approach to an easy problem. Although their drawings can be whimsical and silly, students should be able to explain how each part of their invention affects the other parts and helps get the job done.
- Write Away: My Life as a Drip
In this activity, students write an autobiographical story from the point of view of a drop of water, showing that water never disappears, but simply moves around and changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas and back again.
- Fab Lab: Thumbs Away
In this activity, students learn about the importance of a very important body part: the lowly thumb. By trying to do ordinary tasks without using their thumbs, children will learn how the thumb plays an essential role in the system of their hand. This activity might lead to a discussion about different strategies people use for overcoming physical disabilities.
- Move Crew: Volcano Baseball
In this activity, students draw and trade cards in order to round four bases and reach an "eruption." The game mirrors the process of a volcanic eruption, which occurs in stages—each stage must build to a certain threshold in order to reach the next stage. The building up of points at each base represents the building up of pressure or other forces at each stage of the eruption process. Rely on the base cards to remind students of the science behind the game.
- Mind Game: Gravity Launch
If you've seen the movie "Apollo 13" you might have some familiarity with this activity. In that film, astronauts who lost power in their spacecraft had to rely on the moon's gravity to slingshot them back to earth. This online game shows that when you launch something in space, the gravitational pull of objects like the earth and the moon can dramatically affect its course of direction. Students should practice the game until they figure out how to compensate for the earth and moon's gravity.
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