Are you interested in bringing
Unsolved Science to your school?

If the answer is
, read on.

If the answer is NO, thanks for popping by and please check out this interesting article about Vera Rubin’s critical role in discovering dark matter.

Dark matter, unexplained

What does my class need to play?

There are a couple of steps you’ll need to follow if you want to get a class playing Unsolved Science:

  1. Determine how big your class is.
    • Each game box will accommodate a group of 4-6 students. Four is a comfortable group size. Six is getting a bit crowded but it still works.
    • For example, if a class has 24 students, then that class would need 4 to 6 Unsolved Science game boxes.
  2. Buy enough games to accommodate the number of groups you have.

But we don’t want you to have to buy a set of games again for each new class, for each new semester, for each new year. Most of the materials in the game can be used again. You can even photocopy much of the included sheets or even laminate them.

There are some chemical components in the game that can only be used once. We can sell you some refills for a small price (minimum purchase of 4 refills). Or if you have the will and the time, you can email us at [email protected] and we’ll tell you how to prepare them using ingredients you likely have in your chemistry lab.

Can I try before I buy?

Teachers who want to test the game first before deciding on buying more copies for their class can purchase a copy of the game at a heavily discounted rate.

Simply fill out the following form and we’ll provide you with access to a 50% discount on one copy of the game.  

Who is the game aimed for?

The game is aimed at players 15 years of age or older. Also, because of the holistic nature of the science presented in the game, it’s a really nice fit for grade 9 and 10 general science classes. That said, older grades would also enjoy playing the game and benefit from seeing some of the science they’re learning about in action.

The game can be played by advanced classes that demonstrate a high level of curiosity and strong critical thinking and independent skills. But the game is also good for classes of varying competencies composed of students that might need a more powerful motivation to get into science. The challenge level of the game can be adapted to the competencies of different groups by modifying the amount of facilitation that the teacher performs (see next section).

How do my students play the game?

Playing the game with your class is simple. The science in the game is self-contained enough that you don’t need to play the game at any specific point in the semester/school year.

It normally takes between 2-3 hours to complete all three chapters of the game. Therefore, assuming that a class period is between 60-75 minutes, our recommendation is to split the game up over 2-3 days of class. You could, for example, have a class play once a week for two to three weeks. But to maximize recollection, it might be better to play the game during two to three consecutive days.

How do I facilitate the game?

The first step in getting your class ready to play the game is to determine which difficulty category you think your class belongs in. There are three difficulty categories:

Level 1: For classes that sometimes struggle to be motivated by science and that do best with heavy teacher guidance. Play the game with large amount of facilitation involved.

Level 2: For classes that generally do well with science but that might need some teacher motivation. Play the game with medium amount of facilitation involved.

Level 3: For advanced classes that are self-motivated and that are good at working independently. Play the game with minimal amount of facilitation involved.

Can you facilitate the game for my class?

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you might just be in luck!

Instead of buying game boxes, you can book me to come to your school over a few consecutive days to facilitate the game with your students. I’ll bring my own games boxes, which I bring back with me, do the setup, facilitation, and cleanup, all while you take it easy (or more likely catch up on work at your desk).

You can rest easy placing your students in my hands. Most of my career has been in science communication and education and I was even a science educator at the Ontario Science Centre for quite a few years. I love doing this stuff!

If you’re interested in having me facilitate the game with your class or you have questions, you can contact me at [email protected].

How can Unsolved Science help my students?

Getting students to play the Unsolved Science game is a fantastic way to inject a dose of science-themed Competency-Based Learning to a classroom. Through Unsolved Science, students will engage in deep learning and practice global competencies that will help them succeed in the world that awaits them. Here are ten ways that Unsolved Science can help your students:

1. Unsolved Science shows science in action in a (somewhat) real world context

The game’s story places science in context and allow students to see how interesting problems can be solved using science and its tools.

2. Unsolved Science features a wide range of scientific topics that your students will recognize

It’s extremely satisfying for students to see the theory discussed in class appear in the real world. By playing the game, students come face to face with recognizable science from such fields as biology, physics, chemistry, and earth and space science.

3. Unsolved Science inspires wonder

Through the game, students experience cool head scratching science discovery moments that can only be explained using cool science knowledge and methods.

4. Unsolved Science promotes positive attitudes towards science

The game contains humour, easy-to-understand text, interesting multimedia, and all the scientific information needed to ensure students feel smart and are successful in their investigation. This in turn helps to reduce the stigma around science and make all types of students feel that science can be for them. Plus there’s funny achievement stickers for students to give each other!

5. Unsolved Science allows students to engage in the scientific process

By playing the game, students will develop hypotheses, consult knowledge sources, perform experiments, record data, interpret findings, and communicate conclusions to the class.

6. Unsolved Science promotes teamwork

You can’t do it alone! Well technically you can but it’s better as a team. The game encourages students to work together to gather information, share data and knowledge, delegate responsibilities, and put their heads together to solve the mystery.

7. Unsolved Science leads to creative and critical thinking

Students must think outside of the box (Schrödinger’s cat box?) to understand how different pieces of weird and wondrous evidence fit together to solve a larger mystery.

8. Unsolved Science allows students to work independently

For more advanced classes, students are able to work in a mostly unguided fashion to complete the entire investigation. Translation: you get to use the time to grade papers.

9. Unsolved Science is fun for different kinds of learners

Information is presented in lots of different formats (text, images, videos, etc.). And the game allows different student personalities to shine. Some students might feel right at home taking on a more vocal leadership role, while other students might prefer to quietly dive deep into the data.

10. Unsolved Science promotes digital literacy

Students must make use of the online Astrosearch search engine to find information that is critical to their investigation.