Magazine article Technology & Learning

Star Wars DroidWorks

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Star Wars DroidWorks

Article excerpt

Platforms and Unusual System Requirements: Macintosh and Windows CD. (32MB RAM and 34MB hard drive space recommended.)

Emphasis: Problem solving; physical science.

Grade Level: 5 and up.

Publisher: Lucas Learning, P.O. Box 10667, San Rafael, CA 94912; (888) 887-7909; www.droidworks.com.

Retail Price: $39.95.

DroidWorks is a lavishly detailed program that uses the familiar "Star Wars" characters, such as robots R2-D2 and C-3PO, and futuristic 3-D settings as backdrops for a variety of complex problem-solving activities. Users are called upon to use logic, observation and a basic knowledge of physical science as they build and continually customize a robot, or "droid," to guide through 13 challenging missions.

Students choose from over 80 heads, torsos, arms, hands, legs, wheels and more to build their droid. Different missions call for specific characteristics--such as speed, or flexibility--so students must plan ahead as they build. A holographic design grid provides a 360-degree view of creations in progress.

Eight "training missions" offering three levels of difficulty help users get started. After each successful mission, kids receive an additional droid part needed for a later challenge. …

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