Play game:

About

After download, click on the screen anywhere to open.

The game starts with a short tutorial on charges and the E-field. The player is then able to move “Mitey”, a mischievous, escaped mite with a charge of +1. In an embodied manner players drag and place “pinned” charges anywhere on the screen and can observe the multiple vectors in the changing E-field by clicking on the “sunglasses” icon.

With more than 10 levels, students earn gold stars for perfecting manipulation of the E-field as they play. The physics in the game are based on Coulomb’s Law so that acceleration and electrostatic forces are accounted for.

In the harder levels, obstacles are placed in Mitey’s path, so students can try to visualize the multiple positive and negative pinned charge interactions that will move Mitey.  Students will be able to explore pinning the charges in patterns that move Mitey in curved trajectories!

 

Disclaimer:

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No1020367. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

nsf

Features + Learning Goals
Students will learn:
  • ·    And receive reinforcement that like charges repel each other
  • ·    That opposite charges attract each other
  • ·    That the magnitudes of the pinned charges affect the acceleration of the unpinned charge (Mitey)
  • ·    That distance affects positive acceleration and negative acceleration
  • ·    The E-field is highly interactive, all charges affect each other into infinity
  • ·    An engaging mechanism for visualizing, and confirming, the multiple interactions in a complex E-field

Teachers:

Perhaps tell your students that since the masses of protons and electrons are so small, in this game we have disregarded gravity.  It is clearly a 2D simplification of our universe’s 3D E-field. The goal is to encourage students to visualize the multiple charge interactions in a game-like manner.   

Distance between charges is a factor in play, and a component in Coulomb’s Law - the denominator.  The game mechanic allows students to explore how the magnitude of the charges affects how Mitey moves through the field – essentially the numerator in Coulomb’s Law.  The valence of the charges is also taken into account with direction that Mitey travels.

Coulomb's Law

Note: We never directly reference Coulomb’s Law in the game, because we never address the constant k in the equation. You should consider doing that.

You may also want to discuss with students constant velocity. Will Mitey move with a constant velocity in the presence of another charge?

 

Higher Levels with Gold Pipes

In the later levels, students will see gold pipes on the screen. The pipes allow E-field charges to pass through, but not the larger atom called Mitey (+1). These levels encourage learners to conceptualize curves in the field. Some students will enjoy trying again and again to get Mitey in the hole. Others will stop after a couple of tries that perseverance is just a trait of the player – it is not to be penalized. 

 

Of Interest

Remind players to turn on and off the sunglasses icon (top left – “vector view”).

Discuss how the E-field goes into infinity.

System Requirements

PC:

1GHz or better processor
1GB or more RAM
DirectX9 compatible or better Graphics Card

 

Mac:

OSX 10.6 or Later

 

WebGL Enabled Browser

Google Chrome (at least version 9)

Mozilla Firefox (at least version 4.0)

Safari (at least version 6.0)

Opera (only available in version 11 and 12)

Internet Explorer (Not Recommneded)

Mircrosft Edge (Not Recommended)

Click here for more information about webGL enabled browsers