Contraption Maker – Solve problems, puzzles, brain teasers while creating wacky machines. Hands-on problem-solving leads to great fun and independent learning with the right curricular wrap-around to make connections between what kids are doing and what they need to know.
"On its own, Contraption Maker is a wonderfully entertaining game. At this point, the game lacks any structured curriculum or lesson tools (although they're promised in the near future). So, for now, teachers will find that any subject that requires problem-solving, understanding of cause-and-effect, and systems thinking can use this game to bring those points home. Whether bringing up examples in class and having students talk through possible solutions, or having kids play as a means to opening conversations about more serious types of systems and problems, Contraption Maker is a great way to get kids talking and thinking, and to cement learning through experience." (Source)
Virtual worlds can inspire students to try things out in the real world. Watch Audri's Rube Goldberg Invention. It's pretty impressive! See also Algodoo.
Nathan Smith is Director of Technology for the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University. In that role, he also directs The Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center (The YETC) located in room 170 of the Education Building on Utah State University's Logan campus. The YETC is a combination student openaccess computer facility, a K12 curriculum materials library, a NASA Educator Resource Center for Utah, and a technology training center.
Nathan served eight years (20042012) on the Board of Directors for the Utah Coalition for Education Technology (UCET) He was reelected in 2014 to serve another two year term on the board.
A former elementary school teacher, Nathan has taught students every age from young children to senior citizens. He has had the opportunity beginning in 2011 to train international high school teachers from all over the world about technology in education, through the U.S. State