- substance properties
- combining knowledge
- making new creations
- digital creation
- using and applying technology
- solving puzzles
- thinking critically
Key Standards Supported
|RST.6-8: Craft and Structure|
|RST.6-8.4||Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.|
|Integration of Knowledge and Ideas|
|RST.6-8.9||Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.|
|RST.9-10: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas|
|RST.9-10.7||Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.|
|RST.11-12: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas|
|RST.11-12.7||Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.|
Modeling With Geometry
|HSG.MG: Apply Geometric Concepts In Modeling Situations|
|HSG.MG.1||Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).★|
|HSG.MG.2||Apply concepts of density based on area and volume in modeling situations (e.g., persons per square mile, BTUs per cubic foot).★|
|HSG.MG.3||Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).★|
ProsTons of user-generated content, realistic physics, and deep customization and building options make every playing session feel fun and new.
ConsA steep learning curve and some violent content limits classroom accessibility.
Bottom LineThis physics sandbox ramps up the complexity but not the usability, leaving it up to the right teachers and students to unlock its benefits for math, science, and the arts.
Graphite Expert Review
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
Offers mind-boggling possibilities for building with models and art from Valve Software's hit games, along with an active user community -- but it's not designed to grab new users.
There's spectacular potential for learning everything from physics to digital filmmaking, but it'll take an equally spectacular teacher and/or student(s).
With realistic graphics, no tutorial, and an interface that functions more like a game development environment than a user-friendly game menu, Garry's Mod can intimidate new users.
Garry's Mod (GMod) is a physics sandbox stuffed with art and models from Valve software's popular games, including "Half-Life 2" and "Counter-Strike." With a large library of generic objects, recognizable props from Valve's games, and pre-built devices like thrusters and wheels, users can build and share nearly anything they can imagine. Every object's physical properties can be modified, letting players tweak things like lighting or the amount of force and torque an object can create or withstand. With GMod, students can model solutions to physics problems, draw hypotheses about how things work in the real world, make films or sculptures, or just have madcap fun.Read More Read Less
While the toolkit and physics engine are superb, GMod is nowhere near as easy to use as its spiritual cousin, Minecraft. If students don't already have experience with similar editing software, they'll need to spend a significant amount of time learning the ins and outs of the game's tools, materials, and settings. GMod also has some highly distracting assets –- weapons and scary, rag-doll character models -– which, like TNT in Minecraft, might derail more productive play. As a teaching tool, GMod benefits from focused use and clear expectations –- including what specific objects should be used. It's definitely a right kid, right time, right project teaching and learning tool, and unreasonable as a requirement for an entire class. But certain kids will fall in love and engineer fantastic creations.Read More Read Less
Teachers can use GMod as a demonstration tool for physics experiments that are otherwise impractical for class. For example, a teacher could create a rocket, giant catapult, or two objects that push against each other with more force than can be safely (or possibly) generated at school. Teachers can also help students model experimental designs and solutions to physics and 3D geometry problems, and students who want to share their work (with the appropriate permissions) can work up and post expository pieces explaining their creations on DIY sites like Instructables. Teachers and students can also use GMod to create explorable 3D maps and models that connect to class content.Read More Read Less