Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Electricity and Magnetism
with The Electric Shocktopus

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Theory

Electricity

Get to know the puzzle-platformer the Electric Shocktopus! In this game, you control an electric octopus that can emit an electric charge.

Teacher Resources

This lesson is meant as an introduction to the Electric Shocktopus. This lesson contains a brief look into the theory and concepts of electricity, but the following lessons will provide more specific specialized lessons (including on Coulomb’s law, magnetism and conductors).

  • Theory: This lesson provides a quick overview of the concept of electricity.
  • Play: Students get to play the earliest levels of the Electric Shocktopus and learn how to play the game.
  • Share & Discuss: These tasks focus on considering the differences between electric and magnetic fields.

Theory: Electricity

  • A form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current
  • There are two types of electric charge: positive (+) and negative (-)
  • An electric current is a flow of electric charge. In electric circuits this charge is often carried by moving electrons in a wire. (pictured on the left)

Electricity.

Teacher Resources

Later lessons will provide a more in-depth look into specific concepts, such as electric charges, Coulomb’s law and currents. For this lesson, you can use this slide and the sources below and your own to teach the concepts of electricity as elaborately or quickly as you prefer.

READ:

WATCH:

Image Source: Electricity, Wikimedia Commons.

The Electric Shocktopus

  • A platformer and puzzle game with electricity as its core theme
  • Depicts electric charges, magnetism, conductors and other related scientific concepts realistically
  • Teaches an intuitive understanding of some of the basics of electricity
  • Provides a versatile level editor to make your own levels

Gameplay screenshot.

Teacher Resources

The Electric Shocktopus is an excellent way to teach the basic concepts of electricity. While the game does not feature any math in its gameplay, you have to utilize real scientific concepts to succeed. For example: the levels require you to understand how positive and negative charges work in order to make progress. For more information, refer to the official website of the game.

Play

Lesson Goal

Now is time to play the game!

Play the levels 1-10 and control an electric octopus that can emit an electric charge.

Pay attention to

  • charges
  • electric fields
  • magnetic fields

Gameplay screenshot.

Teacher Resources

The “Pay attention to” segment includes topics that will be discussed in the tasks at the end of the lesson.

If some students are having trouble playing the game, be sure to help them. You should, however, leave them with a chance to try in earnest before giving them any solutions.

How to Play

To begin, click on Let's Rock.

Gameplay screenshot

Click a level to play it. To see more levels, click on the arrows.

Gameplay screenshot

Game Controls

Movement - arrow keys / WASD
Activate charge - shift / Z
Restart level - R
Menu - ESC

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • How far along did you get?
  • Did you get 3 stars in a level? How many times did you manage to get 3 stars?
  • What was hardest about the game?
  • Was there something you didn’t understand? What was it?

Teacher Resources

These questions are meant to get the students to open up and start a discussion. The answers do not matter as much as the fact that they are talking: the next slide provides opportunities for evaluation and should be more strictly observed.

Tasks after Playing

  • How do positive and negative charges react to one another?
Show Notes

Similar charges (+/+ or -/-) repel each other. Opposite charges (+/-) attract.

  • How does an electric field work?
Show Notes

In the game (introduced in level 5), an electric field moves you in a direction as you activate your positive (+) charge by pressing shift. The definition of an electric field is “a region around a charged particle or object within which a force would be exerted on other charged particles or objects.”

  • How does a magnetic field work?
Show Notes

In the game (introduced in level 7), a magnetic field spins you around as you activate your positive (+) charge by pressing shift. The definition of a magnetic field is “a region around a magnetic material or a moving electric charge within which the force of magnetism acts.”

Teacher Resources

It’s a good idea to let the students think about these answers for a moment before asking them - if you so wish, they can even check the game for the answers if necessary! Below are the expected answers for these questions. If you have time, you can demonstrate the answers in the game itself.