Exponent Game

This project was developed to show how the Hummingbird can be used to create games that reinforce math concepts. In this case, the game is based around the rules for integer exponents.

The game starts when the user presses the spacebar. The game generates three random numbers: two exponents and a base.

Next, the program uses those numbers to generate a problem for the user. It asks the user to multiple or divide two numbers with exponents. Both numbers have the same base. An example is shown below.

Scratch does not contain an operator that will compute the answer to this question. To check the user’s answer, students must add the exponents together (technically, they could also use recursion, but we will not consider that approach here). Implementing this in the game reinforces the rules for working with exponents.

After computing the correct answer, the program uses both the screen and the Hummingbird robot to tell the user whether their answer was correct or incorrect. The robot includes two tri-color LEDs, one gear motor, and two vibration motors. When the user is correct, a custom block makes the two LEDs purple, while the gear motor uses a small linkage to move a purple heart. When the user is incorrect, another custom block turns the lights red and vibrates two red pom-poms. This custom block includes a parameter that tells the user the correct answer to the problem.

This game was designed to meet Common Core math standard 8.EE.A: “Work with radicals and integer exponents.” This idea could be used to create games centered around many other math concepts. In addition, this project meets NGSS standards for engineering at the middle school level (MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, and MS-ETS1-4).