Welcome to PHYSICA, a place where the laws of physics rule.

The island of PHYSICA presents the game Mecanika, which helps players intuitively learn about concepts in kinematics and dynamics. Visitors will also discover a virtual lab where they can explore the effects of impulses, acceleration and gravity on moving objects.

Mecanika is on Kickstarter!

Montreal video game studio CREO is launching a Kickstarter campaign. The objective: to adapt the game Mecanika for Android and iOS tablets. Not only fun and compelling, this puzzle game has also shown itself to be very effective in supporting the learning of mechanical physics.

In order to create a tablet version of its PC game Mecanika, which was produced in 2011 in collaboration with UQAM (Université du Québec À Montréal), Montreal game studio CREO is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which opened itself to Canadian projects on the 9th of September.

Read more

Designed by François Boucher-Genesse, a former game designer on Halo 3 who now holds a master’s degree in educational sciences, the game aims to be both fun and effective in stimulating learning. Experiments conducted by UQAM have shown the impact of the first PC version of the game on students’ progress. And the results are impressive! Indeed, classes that have used Mecanika have progressed four to five times more than those that have learned the subject via traditional methods.

In Mecanika, players must direct robots – scouts – toward stars. To achieve that, they have access to an array of robots, each representing a physical force. The 50 levels are designed to surprise the players and to make them think about the way objects move around them.

“Mechanical physics are a subject that students find very difficult. With Mecanika, we learn in an intuitive way, instead of with formulas. The game helps to better visualize the effect of mechanical forces in a gameplay so enjoyable that we can play it just for fun,” says CREO president Caroline Julien.

In the course of its Kickstarter campaign, which will unfold until October 6, CREO is asking for a minimum of $15,000 to finance in part the production of a new version of the game that will be available on Android and iOS tablets. In exchange for their contribution, investors will receive rewards such as a visit of the studio, an educational guide, images from the game or even the possibility to participate in the creation of a level of Mecanika.

While waiting for the game to be financed via Kickstarter, it’s possible to play the demo of the PC version or to watch the trailer.

We would like to thank our promotional partner, the 2012 Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference.

The 2012 Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference will be held in the Hyatt Regency Vancouver from October 25 to October 29. The 2012 CUPC will host upwards of 200 top undergraduates from Canada and the United States in Physics, Engineering Physics, Geophysics and related fields, who will attend to present their research.

Attendees also get the opportunity to attend plenary lectures from the likes of Erich Vogt, who founded TRIUMF, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered the first four pulsars, and Gary Hinshaw, the Gruber Prize winner for establishing the Standard Model of Cosmology via the WMAP project. There will also be social events and lab tours to complement this distinguished line-up.

If you have a research project and would like to attend the 2012 CUPC, visit http://www.cupc.ca/ or https://www.facebook.com/2012CUPC to keep in touch!

A situation of unquestionable gravity!

A new island called Physica is now accessible through the GAME FOR SCIENCE transportation system. Physica will put your understanding of the laws of physics to the test. The plant is supervised by Vacuum-o-matic 412, a highly advanced robot equipped with artificial-intelligence. Vacuum-o-matic 412 directs recycling operations and is in charge of hundreds of small robots called collect-o-matics.

Vacuum-o-matic 412 is struggling with a rather embarrassing problem and desperately needs your help. Its bodywork has vanished into thin air. Vacuum-o-matic isn’t embarrassed, but if it tries to exercise any kind of authority over the collect-o-matics, they will make fun of it. This is a serious matter for such a distinguished robot. In the meantime, Vacuum-o-matic 412 is not at its post, which is problematic because the longer it is away, the more complications arise at the plant, despite the presence of the collect-o-matics.

Read more

Collect-o-matics are not the most well-behaved machines, far from it! With the Vacuum-o-matic away, the collect-o-matics will play. Throughout the plant, the precise, comforting purr of well-tuned engines has given way to a loud rumble. The work area is littered with out-of-order robots. Your job is to restore order. To do so, you’ll have to whip the collect-o-matics into shape so they clean up all the energy stars and defective robots. Who knows, you might find Vacuum-o-matic 412’s missing parts while you’re at it.

What? You’re not a negotiation specialist in robotic work relations? No problem. The Guid-o-matic will help you reactivate the gang of lazy machines. Don’t let the Guid-o-matic’s foul temper bother you. It’s a valuable ally because it knows the functions of all the different robots inside-out, so don’t hesitate to ask it for advice. When you finish the quest, you will be rewarded with 2,200 neurons and 2,200 Talent$. Good luck!

Visit the LabMÉCAS website. Visit the Inukshuk Fund website. Visit the UQAM website. Visit the CMF-FMC website.