The Molecarium Project’s mission is to “excite children about the world of science and…ignite their curiosity.” To this end they created NanoSpace as an education tool that is supposed to be fun and informative:
NanoSpace offers more than 25 games and animations that teach kids about atoms and molecules. The games include Polypeptide Puzzler, which asks you to assemble molecular chains before time runs out; Build ‘em, an arcade drag-and-drop games that shows you how to construct organic molecules; and the H2O Parlor, where you have to adjust the water dispenser’s temperature to fill the customers’ orders for snowcones, water or steam filled balloons before they get annoyed and walk away. Many of the NanoSpace games and activities feature the characters Oxy and Hydra from the Molecularium’s movies.
Education games are nothing new, but they haven’t yet revolutionaized the classroom. Praise from the likes of Jane McGonogal may seem fulsome at this point, but that may just be because we haven’t delved deeply enough into the potential of such games. NanoSpace’s game types are nothing new (in the style of Number Muchers, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, etc.) Still, some of the NanoSpace’s games are far more pallatable than a textbook and could definitely be a component of a school curriculum going forward.