• Amanda Chase & Amy Muise

Monster School Bus and Ratio Rumble are back on BrainPOP’s GameUp

We are excited to announce the re-release of Monster School Bus and Ratio Rumble on BrainPOP’s GameUp platform. BrainPOP is an online educational collection widely used in U.S. schools (PRNewswire, 2021), offering standards-aligned content for grades K-8+. The GameUp section of BrainPOP offers learning games and interactive modules that are free to play for all learners, even those who do not have a paid subscription to BrainPOP content.


Learning Games Lab products, including the Math Snacks games, have been featured on Game Up since 2013; but with the retirement of Adobe Flash in 2020, older versions of these and many other games were removed. Our studio has been working hard to reprogram them in modern web formats, while also improving accessibility of each game online. Currently, we have published new versions of Pearl Diver, Monster School Bus, and Ratio Rumble. Game Over Gopher and Gate should be available by summer, 2022.


Math Snacks has undergone careful user testing, formative evaluation, and research to document learning gains. In a research study with more than 400 participants, students in one group who received the Math Snacks intervention as part of their classroom learning showed significant learning gains in math concepts and application when compared to students in a second group who received only instruction. When the second group were then introduced to Math Snacks games, their learning gains increased to match those of the first group.



Monster School Bus

In Monster School Bus, the player is a monster school bus driver who is tasked with picking up monster kids and driving them to school. As bus drivers, players are challenged to add decimals, whole numbers, and fractions to fill their school bus to its maximum capacity with monster students. Additionally, they are tasked with collecting magic potions to “rock out” the monster neighborhood, which increases their star rating at the end of each level. This game is intended for late elementary or middle school-aged students and addresses number and operations standards as well as the process standard (as established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). It supports students in understanding numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number system, visualizing numbers as sets and quantities, and building new mathematical knowledge through problem solving. This game contains additional resources such as teaching guides and gameplay videos and is part of the Math Snacks suite.



Ratio Rumble

Ratio Rumble presents a fun and unique way of learning ratios through shape- and color-matching gameplay mechanics. After selecting one of eighteen characters, the player learns how to use various potions in battle. The characters’ backstory and banter with their opponent keeps things interesting. To be victorious, the player must draw upon their understanding of ratios to concoct the desired magic potion, including three-part ratios and ratios with decimals. Intended for middle school learners, this game guides students in identifying ratios when used in contextual situations, providing visual representations of ratios, and presenting problem-solving opportunities. Ratio Rumble is supported by additional resources such as teaching guides and gameplay videos and is part of the Math Snacks suite.



Pearl Diver

Pearl Diver helps students conceptualize how positive and negative numbers are distributed on a number line. Playing as a pearl diver, the player must dive at the correct location to retrieve hidden pearls while avoiding the electric eels. A number line is used to represent the location of the pearls on the ocean bed. Suited for elementary schoolers, this game contains additional resources such as teaching guides and gameplay videos and is part of the Math Snacks suite.


Developers on our team are working to develop updated versions of Gate and Game Over Gopher, which we hope to also distribute via GameUp.



Reaching learners


The Learning Games Lab values its collaboration with BrainPOP to reach learners in schools and at home via GameUp. When students are accessing online tools from school computers, it’s helpful for them to be distributed via a widely vetted site like BrainPOP, which is likely to be green-lighted by school security protocols. In addition to these re-programmed games from the first series of Math Snacks games, GameUp hosts additional digital learning products from the Learning Games Lab. These include Math Snacks’ pre-algebra suite – learning games Agrinautica and Curse Reverse and interactive graphing module Creature Caverns – as well as eight interactive food safety Virtual Labs.




References


Trespalacios, J., & Chamberlin, B. (2012). Pearl Diver: Identifying numbers on a number line. Teaching Children’s Mathematics, 18, 446-447.


PRNewswire (2021, April 15). Next Gen Personal Finance Teams Up with BrainPOP To Help K-12 Students Build Financial Literacy. https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/business-corporate-news-personal-finance-education-new-products-and-services-social-affairs-0fd67af70e93f86ee9525beb3e8c31d6


Wiburg, K., Chamberlin, B., Valdez, A., Trujillo, K., & Stanford, T. (2016). Impact of Math Snacks games on students’ conceptual understanding. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 35(2), 173-193.