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SimplePlanes

Lower Age: 4+
Website: http://jundroo.com/
Year Added: 2019

Simple Planes, by Jundroo LLC, is a plane simulation game targeted towards children aged four and above. This game, available from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Steam, lets users customize and test a plane. The customization, design and changes made are all modeled and accounted for in the physics of the plane’s flight.. This allows the user to play around with parts of the plane to impact its flight characteristics. Additionally, the game gives information on the function of each part of the plane and how that part affects performance, which helps the user adjust their plane to maximize flying potential. The app also provides races, combat training and games, and other challenges to complete with a user-made plane.

 

This application promotes engineering thinking by allowing the user to build a plane from scratch. While constructing the plane, the app gives instructions on where each part should be placed and how this affects its flying potential. This encourages the user to think critically about the physics of flying and landing the plane, as each part is important to the overall effectiveness. It challenges the user to find solutions to continue flying the plane if it gets damaged during simulation, which uses evidence based reasoning. The player also uses creative thinking when building and customizing the plane with all the possible options on the app. There are also options to download and test pre-existing planes. A plus for this app is that players can download their own plane or a pre-existing plane and 3D print it.

 

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

Idea generation, Create a prototype or process, Test the solution, Analyze a solution, Make improvements to the solution

 

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: 

A problem to be solved by developing a new or improved object, tool, or process

 

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Critical thinking, Creative thinking, Evidence-based reasoning, Design

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews

    • Rating:  4.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: 

      • "I liked how you got to build a plane. "

  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews

    • Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “The concept of the game challenges the brain to think critically and design so it is a good game for that. “

      • “It challenges the player on improving the design of the plane by testing it out several times and eventually have the plane maximize its flying potential.”