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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
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What’s It About?
CIRCUIT JAM is a unique mix of lab simulation and gameplay. Kids get to experiment in a virtual lab-like setting while solving puzzles and unlocking components for the sandbox mode. Puzzles are arranged in the following categories, depending on the type of challenge they present: Current, Voltage, Resistor, Ohm's Law, and Capacitor. Each category includes several puzzles that must be unlocked in sequential order. For example, in the first puzzle, kids have to simply close a switch within a circuit to generate a constant electronic signal. In later puzzles, they have to toggle switches to generate fluctuating signals, add current by connecting current sources in parallel, and divide current by adding multiple parallel branches within a circuit. The first set of puzzles is free, but the remaining ones must be purchased. In sandbox mode, kids can build and test circuits using components such as resistors, capacitors, lamps, switches, voltage sources, and more.
Is It Any Good?
Although instructional content is lacking, this is an excellent way for kids to safely experiment with circuits while they engage with challenging puzzles. The game doesn't include background information, so kids should have a basic understanding of circuits and related concepts such as voltage, current, resistance, and Ohm's law. The visual virtual setting and visual feedback are great tools for teaching kids how to test, redesign, and retest their ideas. Some detailed hints and instructional support could give the game's learning value a boost.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about real-world examples of electrical circuits. How do they work?
Discuss the pros and cons of using a lab simulation to experiment with circuits.
If possible, gather some basic materials and build a circuit together. It could be as simple as connecting a battery, wires, and a lightbulb in a series circuit. Talk about components that could be added to the circuit and how they would affect energy flow.
- Device: Android
- Subjects: Science: engineering, electricity, energy
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, problem solving, solving puzzles, thinking critically
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Free for first set of puzzles; $2.99 in-app purchase to unlock all puzzles)
- Release date: July 10, 2015
- Category: Education
- Publisher: MuseMaze
- Version: 1.01
- Minimum software requirements: Android 2.2 and up
- Last updated: July 27, 2016
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