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Inventioneers

Lower Age: 9
Upper Age: 11
Website: http://filimundus.com/inventioneers/
Price: $2.99
Year Added: 2016
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Inventioneers (Full Version) is an app for Android and iOS that teaches children basic physics principles through a series of levels; each with a puzzle goal to be completed.  The puzzle problems can range anywhere from giving a ball to a dog  to launching a rocket. Each level is accompanied by virtual characters known as Inventioneers. The different Inventioneers have unique abilities in each level, so each level ultimately leads to a chain reaction into the next levels. Each level has a selection of preset items that cannot be moved, and a few items in the toolbox that can can be manipulated to complete the puzzle or goal. For example, if a cat is stuck in a tree, you may be given the Inventioneer “Windy”, who can blow the cat out of the tree with his blower. When Windy is hit on the head, his blower will activate and he will push the cat out of the tree. In this way, each level uses a variety of different objects to solve a variety of different goals. The game promotes engineering thinking and design by providing the user with a goal and encouraging the user to think critically about the best way to solve the level. In order to encourage creativity and design, each level has 3 “stars” located on different parts of the screen. If a moving object touches the star, then you collect it. The more stars you collect, the more new levels you unlock. The game explores a variety of different basic physics concepts, and the user will have the opportunity to visually experience physics concepts in action. Additionally, the user can test their creativity in sandbox mode, where they can create a level with whatever parameters they choose.

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about:

Define a problem, make observations, generate ideas, plan the solution, try the solution, test the solution, redesign the solution, make improvements to the solution, create the prototype or process, refine ideas, apply mathematics, apply science

 

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A problem, criteria, a client, constraints, a user

 

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Critical thinking, creative thinking, design, problem-solving, spatial reasoning

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews:

    • Rating:  4.5 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: “I really liked solving the puzzles.”

  • Parents Reviews:

    • Rating:  4.5 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: “My children really enjoyed playing the app. I liked how this app challenged them to think critically to solve the challenges but also allowed them to be creative in sandbox mode.”

  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews:

    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: “Not only can kids play pre-made levels, but they can test their creativity by creating their own levels.“