App Review
Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick

Fun, healthy-eating themed app has ambiguous math content

Quick Take
Pros: High production value, excellent supports and feedback, and lots of fun
Cons: The app lacks a strong educational framework, as well as a good deal of context, without its parent website.
Bottom Line: The games are fun, but they work much better as an accompaniment to the app's associated website.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The high-quality design, an appealing premise, and fun games are likely to engage students. With eight games and the chance to get ever-higher scores, kids will want to keep playing.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

There's a subtle, underlying theme related to healthy foods, and the games touch vaguely on math concepts. However, what's really being learned is a bit ambiguous. Students may feel empowered as they earn prizes.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Thorough tutorials and explanations precede each game. Wrong answers produce helpful feedback. As simply a companion to the website, the app is missing a lot of context that might help users understand what's happening.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab Fresh Pick is an offshoot of the website Fizzy’s Lunch Lab. The app simulates an elimination-style game show where students compete with fictional characters. Throughout the app's eight challenges, students can earn prizes and eventually take their place as the next "lunch labber." As they play, students earn points in each challenge, and their performance is displayed in a high scores bulletin. There are also short video segments in which contestants are booted out of the competition for displaying unhealthy eating habits.

Is It Good For Learning?

The Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick app is a great extension of the the Fizzy’s Lunch Lab website, but it lags a bit on its own. The overall app/website package is wonderfully creative and instructive. Like the website, Fresh Pick is well-designed and excels in support, feedback, and fun. The games themselves attempt to draw on math concepts. Some do so well enough, but others seem only vaguely connected to math content. Also, of eight games, two of the mapping games seem almost identical. Students can’t save their progress midway through a challenge, so they have to complete the challenge in one sitting to earn points.

As a stand-alone app, Fizzy’s Lunch Lab Fresh Pick lacks the context found on the website, as well as a solid educational framework. What is a lunch labber? Why are other contestants kicked out of the competition for buying bubble gum instead of healthy food? More background information and a better tie to the healthy-eating theme could really bolster learning about healthy habits. Overall, it's a nice complement to the website but not as successful as on its own.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers can have students play individually and report their scores upon completion of the game. Or, with slots for up three players to play concurrently, teachers can have kids compete against each other in small groups to see who can get the highest scores. The underlying theme is healthy eating habits, so play could possibly fit into a unit on nutrition. The games themselves involve some basic math skills, which could make them relevant to math units on dealing with money, deductive reasoning, or mapping.

This review of Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick was written by

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