Modules

 

 

 

In its first year, SAVE Science developed its first assessment module, “Sheep Trouble,” for students in Grade 7. In its second year, SAVE Science developed four additional assessment modules; “Snake Trouble” and “Weather,” both for Grade 7;  and “Basketball” and “Mysteria” for Grade 8.

 

Snake Trouble — Introductory Module

This module exposes students to Scientopolis — a virtual medieval world — in which they learn how to navigate and use their “Scitools” while solving a problem. Unlike content modules, this is not anchored by curriculum. Farmers in Scientopolis have found snakes on their farms. Out of fear, the farm lady killed all the snakes she found, but now she is having a problem with mice eating her corn. The lead non-player character (NPC), Farmer Brown does not like the senseless killing of animals. His brother, Bill Jennings Bryan, is fearful of the snakes and wants them all gone. Farmer Brown needs the student to collect evidence to help him convince his brother that the snakes should stay. The student will have access to “Sci-tools” (a set of virtual science tools such as a ruler, a scale or a teleporter) intended to build process familiarity with tools used in future modules. They will also have artifacts, such as newspapers, which they can use to gather information through observation. The purpose of this module is to have the student gain experience operating the character and tools, and to encourage the student to use evidence to solve an NPC’s problem through scientific inquiry.

Sheep Trouble

This module tests adaptation and speciation content. Farmer Brown asks the student to investigate and solve the problem behind why newly delivered sheep are not thriving, while the existing flock continues to do well, since the student knows more about science than he does. He needs the reason for the problem along with evidence to give to the judge; otherwise, the executioner will kill his sheep in 30 minutes. The students will use inquiry, their “Sci-tools,” and problem solving skills to deduce that the new sheep’s legs are preventing them from traversing the hilly terrain and reaching the only food source available on the farm.

Mysteria — Introductory Module 2


This module introduces the second year of modules to the student. It is equipped with a different set of tools and is set on a present-day, tropical island, instead of a medieval farm town. A researcher asks the student to investigate a newly discovered island in order to determine if it is safe for a research base. During the exploration, the student comes across mini challenges that expose them to the “Scitools,” they will use in future modules. There is an explosive ending, if the student does not gather enough evidence to determine the safety of the newly proposed research base.

Weather


This module assesses curriculum surrounding air masses, fronts, and precipitation. Scientopolis is in the midst of a 30-day severe drought; crops are dying, animals are starving. Because the people believe the land is jinxed, they are packing up to leave. Farmer Brown has lived here his whole life and does not want to go. He asks the student to help him determine whether there is a scientific explanation for the drought or if it is bad magic. “People want to know what is causing this drought and if it will be ending soon.” By collecting data from several locations and sources, the student can compare wind direction, barometric pressure and temperature measurements from past and present to help draw conclusions.

Basketball

In this quest, the student is required to solve the problem of why identically inflated basketballs are not bouncing the same in the outdoor conditions, as they are indoors. This assessment tests student understanding of the gas laws and properties of matter as well as aspects of scientific inquiry. To solve this problem, the student can make use of a number of tools, such as thermometers and pressure gauges, in addition to performing a number of tests, including dropping basketballs to determine bounce height, and carrying gas-filled objects to different environments to look for changes. The student can form hypotheses about differences in air pressure of objects and test these by transporting the objects between the indoor and outdoor locations. If the student brings the basketballs back inside, they will notice that they are again usable.

River

The goal of the “Two Rivers” module is to assess student's content knowledge and inquiry in the topic of forces and motion. In this assessment module, there is a researcher who has been bitten by a venomous snake. He needs help and is near a dock where two rivers converge. He needs to radio for help, but does not know which medic will be able to get there faster. Students are presented with this crisis situation in which they have to figure out how the force of the wind and force of the water are affecting a sailboat’s motion towards the hurt researcher.