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$3,670 pledged of $15,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

$3,670 pledged of $15,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

CompoundIt! is a word game in which the “letters” are chemical elements and the “words” are compounds. The rules of the game strive to balance entertainment and playability, scientific accuracy, and educational value. The target audience includes students, science enthusiasts, nerds, and word game fans interested in learning an entirely new “language”.

Why use worksheets when you can play games?

The "gamification" trend in education is here to stay, but it's rare to find a game that students enjoy, that has real educational value, and that has evidence of efficacy. That game is here! CompoundIt! is shown to increase both engagement and understanding for students learning chemical names and formulas. The need is particularly serious in science; U.S. high school students' achievement in science lags considerably behind their math and English scores.

Created by a chemistry teacher

Learning is inherently fun and rewarding, but let's be honest--sometimes it can use a little help. While many chemistry concepts can be learned through lab work, some (like nomenclature and formulas) require practice by repetition--lots of repetition. This is why I created CompoundIt! I've been using it with my own students for two years, and I want to make it available to everyone else, too.

Easy to learn

Modular rule sets and expansions allow the complexity of the game to be adjusted to accommodate all players from middle school to PhD--no prior chemistry knowledge required. The style of play is familiar to those who have played other crossword-style board games, and the rules for compound formation come from chemistry itself.


make more complex formulas by building out on earlier moves
make more complex formulas by building out on earlier moves

An effective teaching tool

Teachers and administrators know that improving student learning demands evidence-based instructional strategies. To test the efficacy of the game in helping students understand chemical formulas, four chemistry classes at a high-poverty urban school took a quiz on chemical formulas, played the game for three days, and then took the quiz again. (The questions on each quiz were randomly selected from the same question pool.) Data was also collected over the same time frame on student achievement for other learning targets. The results were striking:

Student progress on the compound name and formula learning objective (the purple line between the red arrows) improved by more than 16 percentage points, much faster than on other course standards.

What's in the box?

Base game:

  • Quarter fold game board
  • 108 element tiles, die cut punchboard
  • 4 help sheets (legal move summary and polyatomic ion list)
  • Box, matte, laminate
  • Rules booklet, color printed

Organic compound expansion:

  • Extra carbon and hydrogen tiles
  • Single bond and double bond tiles
  • Functional group cards
  • Rule sheet

Chemical reactions expansion:

  • Reaction goal card deck
  • Rule sheet

Elements expansion:

  • Additional element tiles
  • Rule sheet

Note: The exact mix of tiles in each expansion is still in the works, but we'll have samples ready soon!

Reviews

"As a teacher myself, [I] recognized the value the game could hold in the classroom, but while playing it, I also realized that it’s simply a fun game to play in any setting. I initially played it with my wife, a scientist, who also found a lot of enjoyment in brushing up on her basic chemistry knowledge...I’ve also shared it with others outside of the education and science fields who have also found something to enjoy. Ultimately, it’s a game with a broad appeal."
-- Joe Praska, twincitiesgeek.com

"There’s not much new here in terms of gameplay, but that’s not the point. The point of CompoundIt! is its educational value and effectiveness as a learning tool. It’s also quite fun for science nerds! I have to admit I had to dust off some areas of my brain to play. My wife, a Pathobiology major, had no problem with a dusty brain. Guess I won’t be playing with her anymore!" -- Rob Kalajian, A Pawn's Perspective

"A great educational tool - ten out of ten" -- Eric Schwartz, The Mighty Meeple

"CompoundIt was a perfect addition to our chemistry learning...It’s an actual jumping off point for deeper learning. I have found, in our journey, when questions stem from real curiosity, from trying to make something work, and especially to win a game, the learning sticks and is so much more fun!" -- Jackie Lee, youreallycanhomeschool.com

Cardboard Edison

"I love to see real science used in a game. I think this game would be a great teaching tool." -- Diane Sauer

"The game looks like it will do a good job of achieving its goal of getting students to think about different ways that elements can be combined into different compounds." -- Chris Zinsli

Protospiel MN

CompoundIt! premiered to overwhelmingly positive reviews at Protospiel MN 2017. Some of the playtester comments:

  • "It's so nice to see an educational game actually done right."
  • "Your students are lucky!"
  • "If I were a teacher I'd even spend my own money on this."
  • "Playing the game made me want to learn more about the chemicals I was making."

Risks and challenges

Delays in the manufacturing and shipping schedule are always a possibility. I will work diligently to get the game in your hands with all deliberate speed, and to inform you immediately of any delays or production issues.

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    Lab Rat

    Thanks for your support! We'll print your name in the "Acknowledgements" section of the rulebook and/or the game website.

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    Lewis

    Everyone loves taking pencil to paper and drawing some Lewis structures. Honor the colorful, pipe-chomping father of chemical bonding theory and get a PDF print-and-play copy of the base game.

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    Pauling

    Celebrate "the most famous chemist most people have never heard of" with a print-and-play copy of the base game plus all three expansions.

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    Lavoisier

    Like the great pioneer of quantitative chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, you'll lose your head over this amazing deal! Get the "early bird" rate by being one of the first 100 backers.

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    Mendeleev

    Put the elements in their proper natural order and get a copy of the full base game.

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    Wöhler

    Prove the vitalists wrong and show that organic compounds can be synthesized by ordinary chemical means!

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    Boyle

    Develop the first modern theory of chemical reactions and get the Chemical Reactions expansion.

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    Davy

    Isolate new elements and celebrate with a hit of exhilarating laughing gas!

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    Lavoisier + all 3 expansions

    Oops! I forgot to add an "early bird" tier that includes expansions. This is it!

    NOTE: If you already signed up for "Lavoisier", or if you want this reward but it's sold out, just add $10 to your Lavoisier pledge and send me a comment or message letting me know you want the expansions too.

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    Sacks

    For those with a truly insatiable chemical curiosity, get the base game and all three expansions.

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    • Organic compound expansion
    • Chemical reactions expansion
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    Faraday

    Michael Faraday, one of history's most distinguished chemists, was also a great popularizer; he founded the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for young people and went on to deliver 19 of them.

    The Faraday School Gift Pack includes a set of five copies of the base game for you to donate to a school of your choice.

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