Many of our Middle School students are playing a new online game: Among Us. It’s a mystery thriller where students try to figure out who is the imposter by completing various tasks. Middle School Science Teachers Callie Bambenek and Michelle Hrastich spotted an opportunity: what if they could use a similar structure to help students study for an upcoming physics assessment on parallel circuits? Bambenek made a game through GimKit Online Learning that allows students to have fun, solve a mystery, and review what they’ve learned with both Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws and electric circuits.
“Our students play this game any free second they have so we decided to incorporate it into their learning and switch up our instruction style to match what our students really enjoy,” said Bambenek. Students are to choose their learning journey for this lesson: they can do game-based learning with Gimkit’s “Trust No One” to review for the assessment with Bambenek or, if needed, they can use Hrastich’s Zoom link to get more differentiated and targeted content help before their upcoming assessment.
“Knowing that students were at different stages of their understanding, we decided to offer two review options to students. One of the benefits of having classes on Zoom is that we can have more than our normal class load in one ‘room.’ This allows us to separate students into two groups without the constraints of physical space. We can differentiate for students who need extra help or for students who would like to challenge themselves and dive deeper into the topic at hand. It’s been a wonderful addition to our 8th grade science curriculum,” said Hrastich.
The game was a hit, and students enjoyed investigating their way through assessment prep. One student said, “I love Among Us! I love that we were able to play a game that also helped me review for my assessment. It was fun and gave me predictability for the quiz questions.”
“We are so excited to offer our students something different,” said Bambenek. Many thanks to our creative teachers for continuing to find innovative ways to engage students.