The following games have been chosen for their educational and entertainment value to middle school students studying science. The games come from a wide range of reputable sources, most of which are listed on the American Library Association's "Great Websites for Kids." If you have similar games to share, add them in the "comments" section on the bottom of this page.
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Energyville, put out by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Chevron, puts you in charge of meeting the energy demands of a city of 5.9 million people, while at the same time keeping the city prosperous, secure, and clean.
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PhysicsGames.net features hundreds of games that help students learn the properties of physics. Games include such concepts as balance, gravity, and bridge-building. See this blog for a teacher's review of the site and how it is used in his classroom.
This game, created by the programmers at Kongretate, a leading online game creation/game playing community, challenges you to remove the red bricks without making the green bricks fall off the screen. Students must anticipate the way their removal of one brick will impact how other bricks on top of it will fall.
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NASA Games for Grades 5-8
The NASA website includes dozens of games for grades 5-8 including building space shuttles, developing clean energy technology, and trying to build the perfect solar system.
This game, created by BrainPop, makers of award-winning online educational resources, challenges players to "isolate a single microorganism that is causing a plague while supporting understanding of scientific inquiry and life sciences."
This game allows the player to build and maintain a space station that will accommodate astronauts who will live and work aboard it. It was created by the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
ElectroCity is an award-winning game put out by Genesis Energy in New Zealand. It challenges players to manage virtual towns and cities in order to learn about energy, sustainability, and environmental management.
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This website, created by Jim Sullivan, "represents
30 years of capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells
and organisms for education and medical research." The website teaches students about cell biology, microbiology, immunology, and microscopy through interactive demonstrations and animations, as well as puzzles and games.
Science Hangman reinvents the classic game by giving players clues to help them guess the science term being taught. The website is run by Jefferson Lab, a world-leading nuclear physics research facility funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Science Brainteasers, Puzzles, and Riddles
This website, created and run by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, teaches students about the parts of the brain and what they're used for, and then challenges them to solve brainteasers and riddles about various topics. There is also a link to a very comprehensive Neuroscience for Kids webpage.