Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chemistry's in the Cards

Inspired Press Chemistry Card Game Lewis Structure
-CJ Andersen

The main point of games is that they are fun and engaging; something that is often lacking in the classroom.  Thus we were inspired to create games that also had educational value, particularly in the area of STEM.  It's an subject area near and dear to our hearts, as we have such a lot of big nerds for developers.  Our man Erik has his BS in Physics, Laura teaches engineering to kids, Jillian works in finance, I manipulate numbers for a living, and we all agree that education needs more games.

Enter our latest inspiration that's in the testing phase; currently with the working title "Chem 101".  Using hexagonal element cards and rectangular bond cards, this game attempts to teach players how to create Lewis structures in a competitive point based game.  Our first installment will limit the elements to four of the most common; hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen.  Basic molecule creation objectives will teach about the "Rule of Eight" (valence shells), single/double/triple bonds, formal charges and electronegativity.

One of the more entertaining aspects of creating this game has been that it is teaching me Chemistry all over again.  Erik, as our resident scientist, has been supplying the chemistry expertise, and as the game has taken shape, it proves itself well by reinforcing and building on my dusty high school chemistry knowledge.  Of course the cards can also be used simply as visual aids to demonstrate Lewis structures, but in the end, we will create a game entertaining enough to make you want to learn.