A set of games that aim to show chemistry students how to build chemical compounds.
Gebhart (Time to Move On Again!, 2016, etc.), who’s previously authored more straightforward chemistry workbooks, here offers one that presents five educational board games for students. Each comes complete with instructions and playing materials, including pieces for each player, and each is focused on showing how to build compounds from different chemical components. The board is made up of differently colored squares on an “Outer Path,” which list each compound, and blank, white squares on an “Inner Path,” where the players move their game pieces. Players move on these squares by selecting “Step Cards,” which contain specific chemistry lessons. Each Outer Path square lists elements that the players must collect. (A periodic table of elements is also provided.) Players also collect “Claim Cards” that show the specific combinations of elements they need. For example: one square lists the elements “K, Cl, and O,” which are used to create potassium chlorate; the Claim Card shows how those elements are specifically configured (“KClO3”). These games may be incomprehensible to people who aren’t already in the midst of their chemistry education. But for college and high school students who are, this is a useful, alternative way to learn about the basics of chemistry that also provides an element of fun. For instance, if a player pulls the three-step card, he or she not only moves three spaces—but also learns that because the element lithium has three protons, its atomic number is three. (The card also reveals lithium’s symbol and abbreviation.) It’s also worth noting that each of the board games are reproducible, so educators may easily distribute them in classrooms.
The first workbook in a series that helps to make science more accessible through play.