My friend Jessy turned me onto a Kickstarter project that was approaching the end of its run this week. So I checked it out and started tweeting and posting it on social media in an effort to help out. That’s because the project isn’t your average ‘turn an iPod into a watch’ project … it has educational applications and looks incredibly gorgeous.
What is the project? It’s called Tornado Maker and it lets you create and uncover the secrets of tornadoes right on your iPad. The immersive app is part of an effort to bring Generative Instruction (GI) into the classroom. By leveraging the power of technology and games, the Outthink folks say they’ll be able to “disrupt science learning by taking the addictive power of games, the explosive growth of tablets and cell phones, and a proven learning science called Generative Instruction.”
It looks like Tornado Maker will get the chance to disrupt. Because it reached it’s funding goal of $75,000 just a few minutes before the project ended this morning. It was quite exciting to see the clock tick down and the money tick up as backers jumped on board at the last minute.
How Tornado Maker Works
In the not-too-distant future, natural disasters have increased in frequency, unleashing a terrifying wave of death and destruction. Top scientists have joined forces to launch an undercover operation to protect the planet. They’re recruiting a team of super-smart kids to join them. Together they’re called The Secret Global Science Alliance. And they’ve chosen you.
Your first mission: Make it through tornado boot camp, a series of challenges where you master the science behind how twisters are formed. Once you’ve tackled critical concepts such as mass and volume, you’ll be sent to wrangle your very own tornado, watch it grow and then wreak havoc on everything in its path, until you’ve earned the rank of Tornado Maker.
Next, you’ll take on the role of storm chaser, pursuing a ferocious tornado and rescuing frantic townspeople and animals from danger.
It’s so much fun, you and your kids will be fighting over who gets to play (don’t worry, we won’t tell).
The following is from the Kickstarter page:
Working with real scientists and teachers, we’ve planned a continuing suite, including:
- Violent Earth: Hurricanes (just in time for hurricane season!), Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes
- Bionic Builders: Cyborgs, Drones, Pet-omatons, Bug-bots, Robo-cars
- EarthWorks: Cells, Body systems, Organisms, Evolution, Ecosystems
Each app is tested with as many kids as it takes to ensure that we get both the learning and the experience right: no frustration, no boredom, only challenges, breakthroughs, and a-ha! moments.