Science courses can be difficult subject to teach, but instructors can make it a bet easier for college students to learn by using teaching aids. I stumbled across one for you chemistry teachers to share with your students. You don’t teach chemistry? Do you have a child who is taking chemistry? Then share this site with your future chemist. No chemistry connection, but you like Mahjong? Then there is something for you too.
A Stetson University chemistry professor partnered with a game developer to come up a free online learning game called Mahjong Chem. As of this day, there are eleven games, but it would appear that more may be added:
- Polyatomic Ions
- Valence Electrons
- Acids & Bases #1
- Acids & Bases #2
- Metric Prefixes
- Van’t Hoff
- Elemental Symbols – Intro
- Elemental Symbols – Advanced
There is also two versions of classical Mahjong for you non-chemistry gamers.
How to Play Mahjong Chem
If I can do it, your students can do it. Chemistry was not my favorite science. (I wonder who got the name changed from chemistry to alchemy. 😉 )
The following video will give you a brief introduction. Look for my near miss. I made a mistake near the beginning of the game in terms of properly identifying a symbol.
By the way, did you hear me call Au Silver. I was lucky I couldn’t find a Silver tile. Any way, that was one of the things I didn’t like about chemistry, the symbols. They created them to try to fool you. Silver, as you know is Ag not Au. But why couldn’t it have been Sv or something? And where do you get gold out of Au? Frustrating, isn’t it.
Other Ways to Make Learning Fun
Cartoons may seem childish, but aren’t we all children inside. And don’t college students deserve a laugh or two? So why not incorporate cartoons into your teaching. Cartoon humor can help students learn, and there is an inexpensive book of chemistry cartoons that you may find just the right “formula” for fun learning.
More Learning Games
In my last article, Student Engagement Techniques, I showed you have you can play Jeopardy in your classroom.
By the way, take note of the comment below written by the author of the Mahjong Chemistry game. It is available for smart phones.
Have any favorite online learning games you would like to share? Send them my way, and I will share them with them with everyone. Thanks!
© 2010 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.
Updated December 22, 2011