Borough of Manhattan Community College Mathematics Professor Kathleen Offenholley is a math games maven. She sees art and playfulness in math and has long used hands-on games of her own creation in her courses as a vehicle to raise students’ interest in math.
“I find that especially for anxious students, games can take students out of their anxiety,” she said.
Educators can now access the three open-source digital games at Math Games for STEM, which she worked with professional game developers to create for the gatekeeper algebra course that STEM majors take at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
The games are xPonum – a puzzle game; Algebots – an equation-solving game; and The Project Sampson – an adventure and resource management game. “In all three, the math is intrinsic to the puzzle,” Offenholley said. Download the free games and educator guides at https://mathgamesforstem.wordpress.com/
Offenholley said the games were extremely effective when tested in a summer immersion program for in-coming geographic information systems (GIS) majors, who were the focus of her ATE project: Simulation-Based Curriculum to Accelerate Math Remediation and Improve Degree Completion for STEM Majors (Award # 1501499). The free algebra textbook that she and colleagues also developed for this project is at math56oer.wordpress.com.