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  An Algebraic Thinking Puzzle for Ages 10+
 
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About Shuttle Mission Math
Shuttle Mission Math introduces students to the fundamentals of algebraic thinking. The goal at each of the 24 levels is to find the weight of the Zogs. Students are given the weight of groups of Zogs. The challenge is to find their individual weights. To accomplish this, students must apply ideas such as equality, proportional reasoning, variables, and combining groups of objects. Once the weights are known, students use this information to assemble a shuttle team.

Overview of the Game
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Each puzzle is a visual representation of one or more algebra problems. In all but the first level, the algebra problems are related. In the example to the right, you would need to find the value of the purple Zog before you could determine the value of the green Zog.
 
   
The actual problem solving steps are also visual. Students are given 3 tools that may be used to solve each puzzle. These tools enable students to scale groups of Zogs, remove known Zogs from the equation, and combine groups of Zogs through addition and subtraction. Knowing which tool to use and how to apply it to the correct group of Zogs is the challenge.
   
Many of the puzzles can be solved in more than one way. Students can explore various problem solving approaches without consequence. They have the option to undo their steps or reset the entire problem and begin again. The previous configuration of Zogs will always appear above the main puzzle.
  Algebraic Ideas within the Puzzles
When solving the puzzles, students will encounter foundational ideas of algebra. The balance scale reinforces the meaning of mathematical equality. Proportional reasoning is explored through the scaling tool. And the Zogs, with their unknown weights, represent variables.
 
Images from Shuttle Mission Math
 
 
Shuttle Mission Math - Launch Screen Shuttle Mission Math - Level 10
Shuttle Mission Math - Success Screen Shuttle Mission Math - Level 11
Shuttle Mission Math - Game Levels Shuttle Mission Math - Level 18
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