Did you know that the reason planets are spherical is because of the different forces acting on them? Principal among these is gravity, which attracts matter with the same force at equal distances from the planet’s centre.
Welcome to PHYSICA, homework students love!

Integrate new technology into your teaching. Recent academic research has shown that high school students who use the game Mecanika not only have a better comprehension but get better grades on exams. (see below: Data collected by UQAM researchers…)

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.

What happens if you leave collect-o-matics alone in a factory for too long? Inevitably, certain circuits start to degrade, and abnormal behaviours begin to crop up. Vacuum-o-matic 412 needs the help of your students to rebuild itself, find its memory, and subdue a malfunctioning robot.

When learning physics becomes a game

Contact us for teaching materials or more information.

Data collected by researchers working in the field of science didactics at the Université du Québec à Montréal demonstrate that Grade 11 students who use the game Mecanika show considerably improved performance on the Force Concept Inventory test. (For more information, see http://modeling.asu.edu/r%26e/fci.pdf) Moreover, these results came after the students had played the game for approximately two hours, while the pedagogical methods used in other studies occasionally extended over entire semesters.

The data gathered also suggest that assigning the game as homework can produce an effect by itself, without altering the classroom setting and without teacher intervention. However, the literature on educational video games indicates that the potential of such games are better exploited when they are integrated into the classroom. A more in-depth use of Mecanika in class that includes discussions about game situations among students and with the teacher would likely produce a better effect. Teacher’s guides can assist with classroom integration.

The island of PHYSICA is an interactive science education module for physics. The module meets a pressing need in our teaching institutions for interactive science education tools capable of stimulating young peoples’ interest in science and technology. PHYSICA provides high school physics teachers with a dynamic and interactive alternative to conventional in-class and homework exercises.

To learn more about this research, click here (awaiting publication).

More than just a game – teaching guides developed by experts

The island of PHYSICAcontains two marvellous tools for teaching the laws of physical mechanics: the game Mecanika and a virtual lab.

Mecanika lets players explore the effects of impulsion, acceleration and gravity on moving objects through five series of levels.

  • SERIES A : Newton’s laws, concepts of equilibrium and resultant of several forces.

  • SERIES B : Concept of uniform rectilinear motion (Newton’s first law), impulses (Newton’s second law), development of previously introduced concepts (equilibrium and resultant of several forces)

  • SERIES C : Development of previously introduced concepts (Newton’s laws, concepts of equilibrium and resultant of several forces), concepts of uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion and motion of projectiles, concept of centripetal force

  • SERIES D : Review of concepts introduced in first three series (Newton’s laws, concepts of equilibrium and resultant of several forces, concepts of uniform rectilinear motion and uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion, concept of centripetal force and motion of projectiles), introduction of concepts of gravitational force and gravitational acceleration

  • SERIES E : Review of all concepts related to dynamics (Newton’s laws, concepts of equilibrium and resultant of several forces, concept of centripetal force, gravitational force and gravitational acceleration), introduction of the concept of the force of friction

The virtual lab allows students to perform physics labs online by analyzing and replicating the movement of objects from short sequences of video simulation..

To receive a copy of our teaching guides or to learn more about Physica, contact us.

This game was produced with the financial participation of :

Produced with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund