Children in Key Stage 3 have completed their basic courses and are ready to embark on secondary learning. In science, the 11- to 16-year-old students begin using experimental practices to explore the world. Games and puzzles help KS3 students explore the realm of engineering, electricity, natural science and chemistry in a safe way.
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There are a wide range of games that help students understand basic electrical properties. Create your own role-playing game that explores power. Design an imaginary island. Have students use math and science to place generators, resistors and power hubs to supply an imaginary population with power. Have players explore power sources, both green and traditional. They should look at fuel costs and transportation as well as dealing with waste and other byproducts. Students will need to move the power from the power station to energy nodes without overloading the power lines. Changes in population and industry will require the players to alter the power grid design.
There are a multitude of games that help KS3 students explore the human body. Computer games, board games and even card games help the player learn about different functions of the human body. Create your own board game with a red and blue racetrack. Players race along the circulatory system, battling infections to bring food and oxygen to needy cells before heading back to the lungs. Print playing cards with pictures of bones. Play a game similar to gin rummy, but instead of creating books of numbered cards, the players must make books of all the bones in the hand, foot, head or spine.
One of the simplest ways to learn the elements and their properties is through an old-fashioned game of memory. Simply print out cards with the name of the element. Print out a second set of cards with their molecular orbits. Print out a third set of cards with each element's weight and properties. Play with two sets of cards at a time. Ask each player to find matches of the element and its image or properties. As the student becomes more familiar with the periodic table of elements, mix the cards so that the student must match all three forms of the element.
Earliest explorers piloted by the stars. KS3 students can learn about constellations and early navigation by plotting their own trips using star charts. Give each student a star chart, a map and a compass. Using the star chart and directions provided, each player must find his ultimate destination. As the student becomes more adept at recognising the constellations, add steps until the player can circumnavigate the globe.
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