Presented By CyGames
Selene: a lunar construction game

State Standards

Texas: by Laura Wilbanks

Educator Laura Wilbanks` Alignment of Selene toTexas TEKS (State Standards). Copyright 2008 by Laura Wilbanks. Used with permission.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (Grade Levels Implemented)How the Selene Videogame Supports/Meets TEKS Standard
Students should know how science has built a vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models, and also should know that science may not answer all questions.(K,1,2,3,4,5)Selene participants learn that many individuals have contributed to knowledge about how the Moon formed and changed over time. They learn that scientists sometimes disagreed, that theories and explanations are supported by scientific evidence, and that theories may be rejected. This exposure enhances understanding of scientific inquiry, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, and the relationships between science and society. Selene lunar scientist Charles A. Wood even challenges players to help to advance lunar science.
Students should understand a whole in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other and to the whole. (K,1,2,3,4,5)Students choose elements and percentages of these components when building their proto-moon.
Models of objects and events are tools for understanding the natural world and can show how systems work. (K,1,2,3,4,5)Online graphic models of the Moon’s development allow students to see how systems are formed. More importantly, the Selene game world is a system that models Moon formation and evolution. Players explore the system through gameplay.
Identify that heat causes change. (K,1,2,3,4,5)Two primary sources for heat that contribute to how planets form are radioactivity and the kinetic energy from collisions. Data from Selene assessments demonstrate that students learn this concept through Selene gameplay.
Ask questions about objects and events. Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations. Compare results of investigations. Construct reasonable explanations. (2,3,4,5)Players make choices during accretion phase of Selene play and plan number, size, and time of collisions into the Moon’s surface
Classify and sequence objects and events based on properties and patterns. (2,3,4,5)Players use surface feature patterns, knowledge gained during gameplay, and the principles of stratigraphy to sequence a series of illustrations depicting Moon formation and evolution over the various time periods.
Manipulate, predict, and identify parts that, when separated from the whole, may result in the part or the whole not working. Manipulate, predict, and identify parts that, when put together, can do things they cannot do by themselves. (K,1,2,3,4,5)Player adds features (heat, mass, radioactivity, and materials of different density) to the Moon during the accretion phase, thereby determining the Moon’s differentiation into layers and the amount of magma available for volcanism during later states of Moon evolution. This manipulation allows the player to form and evolve a moon that looks like the Earth’s Moon of the present day.
Represent the natural world using models and identify their limitations. (3,4,5)Players build a prototype of the Moon during a videogame to simulate the processes that occur in the natural world.
Measure and record changes in the position and direction of the motion of an object to which a force such as a push or pull has been applied and identify that the surface of the Earth and Moon can be changed by forces. (3,4,5)The Selene player directs the speed and direction of collisions to transfer energy. The collisions determine and modify the surface of the player’s Moon.
Identify the planets in our solar system and their position in relation to the Sun and describe the characteristics of theSun. (3,4,5)The Selene player finds that the Sun, the Earth, and the rest of the Solar System formedfrom a nebular cloud of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago.
The student knows that certain past events affect present and future events. Identify and observe effects of events that require time for changes to be noticeable including erosion, dissolving, weathering, and flow; and draw conclusions about "what happened before". (4,5)The early Earth was very different from the planet we live on today; the proto-moon was different than today’s Moon. The Selene stratigraphy problem sets require the student to draw conclusions about “what happened before”.
The student knows that the natural world includes earth materials and objects in the sky. (4,5)Student gains the perspectives of the Earth and Moon in space by watching NASA still and video footage during a lecture bylunar scientist Charles A. Wood. Selene accretion gameplay occurs in [virtual space] about the early Earth as the player slingshots debris from Earth’s Saturn-like ring to form the proto-moon.
Interpret how land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces such as deposition of sediment and weathering. (5)Selene landformsare the result of a combination of forces occurring through accretion,differentiation, impact cratering, and volcanism.
Identify the physical characteristics of the Earth and compare them to the physical characteristics of the Moon. (5)Student constructs the Moon during gameplay and views video instruction discussing the characteristics of the Moon. This prepares the student to compare and contrast the Moon with the more familiar Earth.