The Education Arcade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce the Lure of the Labyrinth Challenge—a free online math challenge for grades 6–8. While playing Lure of the Labyrinth, students use mathematical thinking skills to progress through a compelling graphic-novel story. There is no cost to participate in the challenge, which runs from April 1 – June 15, 2012. Formal and informal educators are invited to enroll their students in this unique opportunity to help us all learn more about the role of gaming in the instructional process.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has received a Next Generation Learning Challenges Grant to organize a national math challenge for middle school students. The Challenge is open to teachers, coaches, and youth leaders working with students in grades 6-8 in traditional classroom, virtual learning, or informal learning environments.
Within Lure of the Labyrinth, a web-based game, students use mathematical thinking skills to progress through a compelling graphic-novel story. The idea behind the Lure of the Labyrinth Challenge (http://lureofthelabyrinth.net) is that small groups of students will collaborate in a safe, teacher-moderated environment to strategize and problem-solve with others. The grant allows us to provide students and educators with chances to win math, technology, and literacy prizes, such as software donated by BrainPop and Fablevision and ThinkPad tablets donated by Lenovo, just for playing.
There is no cost to participate in the challenge, which runs from April 1 – June 15, and we highly encourage students to play outside the classroom—at home, in an after-school program, or in the library. (We do, however, have corresponding lessons for in-class use.) We realize that teachers are in the midst of spring testing, so the process is fun and challenging for students, but only a small commitment for teachers.
If you are a teacher or youth leader and are interested in enrolling your kids in the Challenge, visit www.lureofthebyrinth.net to subscribe to the Challenge Update.
Now that the Labyrnth Challenge is open at http://www.lureofthelabyrinth.net, you may want to get registered and start building your class and team lists. Uploading a spreadsheet containing this information can make the process very simple:
1. Open a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
2. Create the following column headings in this order: (1) Team_Name; (2) Username; (3) Password; (4) Gender; (5) Age; (5) Grade (see image above)
3. Assign each of your players in this class to a team ensuring that there are at least and no more than 6 players per team.
4. Complete Save out the class file as a tab-delimited text file e.g. ABlock.txt.
5. Create a separate file for each class participating in the Challenge.
As you develop your lists, it is important to remember that we do not want to be able to identify your students by name. The image above provides one example of how you might easily create generic usernames and passwords.
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Did you miss the recent BrainPOP webinar Play Seriously II? Check out the chatter about the freedom to play and the #labyrinthchallenge. Archives of both webinars (March 28, 2012 and April 11, 2012) are available at http://www.brainpop.com/educators/webinars/#Archives
(Filament Games), Three math puzzles from Lure of the Labyrinth, plus Drop Zone; Square Off; Deep Sea Duel; and Primary Krypto, from our friends at NCTM! Please submit your feedback once you've had a chance to play.
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