A Math Game for Girls
SMART Adventure Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramids
is the next episode in the SMART Adventures Mission Math
series. (Read our review of the first game here
, and keep an eye out for the third episode in 2016.) The series recruits kids as junior agents on the SMART (Science Math and Radical Technology agency) team with a mission— in this case, saving an archaeological dig from unknown saboteurs. Of course, SMART 2
's true mission is getting girls to strengthen their math skills and making it fun to be smart!
Junior Agent Star to the Rescue
Kids instantly find themselves traveling through the desert, receiving directions from another agent. In a series of animated videos, other characters explain the mission and keep players updated as the mystery unfolds.
In the meantime, kids choose the appearance of their girl character from a wide variety of options. Then, it's on to the math puzzles.
Players progress through three levels of puzzles of increasing difficulty in six different rooms. As agents, they will calculate area and perimeter to fix the dune buggies, label geometric angles and shapes to build scaffolding, calculate symbolic arithmetic and identify prime and composite numbers, analyze the mean and mode of data sets, and more.
As kids finish the puzzles, they collect tiles that will ultimately give them access to a final puzzle, which tests all of their skills and allows them to save the day. Multiple kids can make profiles to test their own math skills as junior agents with SMART.
Why This App Has Girl Power!
Similar to the first game
, SMART 2
makes math interesting and fun by incorporating math problems into a storyline that makes girls want to help. It's no surprise to us that SMART
started out as a computer science project by a young woman in high school who wanted to make math interesting for younger girls. There is an abundance of strong female role models in the game, including the head of the agency. Several of the other junior agents are also diverse young women, who all agree that junior agents can and should use their smarts to make a difference!
Players are encouraged to wander and explore, and sometimes their next step is not entirely clear. The animated videos can feel a bit cheesy, with the soundtrack not quite matching the characters' mouths. We hope kids will see past these niggles and give the game a chance. The actual math problems seem a little contrived at first, but goofy entertainments sprinkled throughout and a steady progression in difficulty both serve to keep kids engaged. A tutorial introduces each kind of math problem, and kids can always review the tutorial if they're stumped. The problems do get challenging to do mentally, which is perfect because practicing mental math skills are so necessary for this age group and so difficult to develop. Plus, there is always a calculator available. SMART 2 is the perfect solution for strengthening kids' built-in calculators -- their brains!
SMART Adventures Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramids is best for girls who already know arithmetic concepts like long division, but need practice to stay sharp…which all of us do! Clearly, players will enjoy solving puzzles at these pyramids rather than studying flash cards or dry worksheets. SMART 2 is a great tool for helping kids stay math-savvy during a break from school.
This SMART Adventures Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramids app review was written by Liz K. McKinney.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.