STEM teaching with Pirates

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Ben.
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  • #9707
    Dr. J
    Participant

    Hello all,

    Long story short: I want to use a modified (and very simplifgied) version of Pirates CSG to teach the first module of a short linear algebra course. Many of the game mechanics (such as crew) have to be sacrificed in order to explain, play and give and additional class in 2 hours.

    The basic mechanics are similar to Pirates but adding some cards I printed. The cards may either have “Direction” (8 cardinal directions North, East, SW, etc…), Magnitude (2,3,5) or “Cannon Shot”.Moving requires combining  Magnitude + Direction cards creating a displacement vector. For example, a ship may move 2 units right of the board and 5 down by playing a combination  of cards “East”+”x2″+”South”+”x5”.

    Additionally you need a “Cannon shot” card to shoot  other ships. Cannon range is 1 by default but may be affected by a magnitude card (x2,x3 or x5). The magnitude of the card is also the rank of the cannon. One hit and the ship sinks (we need to keep it short).

    There are 4 additional “Kraken” cards. Krakens emerge when their card is revealed at random coordinates and lash their tentacles (destroying ships) also at random coordinates. The idea of this is that students get used to combining the “arrow” representation of vectors with number arrays.*

    In a turn a player may:

    1. Play cards to move and discard them
    2. Shoot
    3. Play an action card. These are one use cards with special abilities, e.g.  “Boarding”  allows you to steal cards from opponents, “Evasive Maneuver” allows you to evade a cannon shot or a kraken.
    4. Take cards from a deck.

    If you don’t move your ship, it will drift one unit in its previous direction.

    The objective is, unsurprisingly, to get treasure and sink as many enemy boats as possible.

    Any suggestions, ideas and, especially, criticism is more than welcome. My class is on Wednesday so I’ll keep you posted as to how it went (as soon as I figure out how to upload images…). I’d share a link to the rough draft of the rules but it’s still only in Spanish.

    Thanks for your help and hope to hear from you all soon.

    Cheers,

    Juan

     

    #9709
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Long story short: I want to use a modified (and very simplifgied) version of Pirates CSG to teach the first module of a short linear algebra course.

    Certainly a unique approach!  I like how you’re combining the game with something they’ll be learning regardless.  Definitely “never woulda thought o’ that!”  😀

    How to Post Pictures in this Forum

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