About this project
Advanced Chemistry + Simple Rules + Ninjas
Valence is a fast-paced, fun card game that uses simple math, colors, and cartoon ninjas to teach kids (8+) chemistry! Players use more than 25 different molecules to interact with each other and win the game!
How it Works
Players draw Element cards from the deck in order to form Molecules. Each Element has a different Valence number that describes how many electrons it has to give (positive) or how many electrons it needs (negative) to have a full valence shell. If the Valence numbers add up to zero, they form a Molecule!
Players then select their Molecule from the Molecule bank by matching the colors of the elements to the colors of the molecules. These colors represent the element's group on the periodic table - Halogens, for instance, are red.
Each Molecule is worth a certain point value. Halocarbons are worth the most at 4 points because they are difficult to make. Salts, which are much easier to form, are only worth 1. If your molecules add up to 10 points then you win the game! But beware… several molecules are vulnerable to attack from your opponents! Acids attack Bases (4 points) and turn them into Salt and Water (1 point each).
Deadly Carbonyls (which have the special power of removing oxygen from the board) are vulnerable to attack by Water. Players interact with each other using real chemical reactions!
Each element card is tagged with a unique “Science Ninja.” These are diverse, fun characters sporting high-tech goggles, kimono-style lab coats, and bandoliers with chemical vials. Each Molecule Card features Science Ninjas from their forming elements. For instance, the Water card features Eureka Fermi, who represents Hydrogen, and Sloop'eeku Okiedokie, representing Oxygen. Players identify with characters and form their own narratives around the games they play.
Obviously the main reward is our game Science Ninjas: Valence! You get 86 cards - 41 Element cards and 45 Molecule cards, an 8 page instruction manual, and a nifty tuck box to store it all in. And if you're in the US, you get free shipping! You can also buy two decks - either keep both or donate one to one of our partner organizations (see Stretch Goals for a list). But we have a host of other options as well:
The Comics! You can read our comics on our website, but hi-res versions are great for projecting to a classroom.
The Science Ninjas T-Shirt, featuring a navy print on a 100% Cotton Light Blue Gildan shirt. Featuring Carlos Einstein, Eureka Fermi, Dr. Tox, and the Periodic Table of Elements. Let the world know you're serious about science, and that you may, in fact, be a ninja! Available in kids, women, and men's sizes.
The Classroom Pack, featuring 8 decks! Playing Valence with students can be an easy way to introduce chemistry concepts or reinforce material they've learned earlier in the year. You'll also get hi-res downloads of Science Ninjas comics with personal instructions on how to integrate them into hands-on classroom activities! If we reach our stretch goal of $24,000, we'll throw in a Science Ninja Periodic Table Poster!
The Art Fan! Science Ninjas artist Nathan Schreiber will create an 8 x 10" piece of black and white artwork featuring a Science Ninja of your choice... maybe one based on you or someone you know! In addition, Nathan will include a digitally colored print and email you the file - perfect for a Facebook profile pic!
Live Science Demo! Nathan Schreiber will come to your school and do a live science demo with up to 25 kids! Kids will watch a Science Ninjas cartoon and do a related hands-on experiment! Launch rockets, make slime, or explore chemical reactions - the kids will have a blast! And we'll also throw in a deck of Science Ninjas: Valence. But this is only available in New York City! If you like this option but live outside the five boroughs, reach out to us on our website.
Patron level! If you really want our ear and have some resources to spread around, this is the level for you! Science Ninjas (Nathan Schreiber and Drs. Amanda Simson and Naomi Klinghoffer) will consult with you on future products and different ways to teach kids science. We'll also make a Science Ninja for the next version of Valence based on your specifications! And naturally, you'll get decks and shirts, for this and all future versions of Valence.
Stretch Reward and Goals: Periodic Table Poster and Donations to Partner Hospitals and Schools
We've asked for enough money to cover our costs for printing, cutting, and shipping 500 decks and boxes. But we'd love to reach an even wider audience, and we have fun, feel-good rewards to help get us there.
If we make $24,000 we'll offer our backers a Periodic Table Poster featuring Science Ninjas characters with their respective elements. We'll even throw a poster into every Classroom Pack level reward!
We'll also donate a poster and 8 decks to one of our partner organizations, most of which we've been volunteering at for the past 8 years. We'll even visit and teach the kids how to play!
And for every $10,000 we raise after that, we'll reach out to another partner organization and do the same thing - donate 8 decks, a poster, and teach another group of kids how to play. And to keep it interesting, we'll add a new Science Ninja character for different elements, previewing the next version of Valence!
Our partner organizations:
Children of Bellevue
New York Foundling
New Alternatives for Children
Mt. Sinai Hospital
Ronald McDonald House New York
Elm City Middle School in New Haven
How else can I help?
You can share our Kickstarter on your social network, and like our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter, or join our mailing list!
Who We Are
Science Ninjas is artist Nathan Schreiber and chemical engineers Amanda Simson, PhD, and Naomi Klinghoffer, PhD.
An engineer and #1 New York Times bestselling cartoonist, Nathan Schreiber has made cartoons for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, FEMA, and the University of Pennsylvania. He presents science comics and live activities at schools, camps, and after school programs throughout New York City, and has worked closely with children with special needs through the Inkwell Foundation.
An assistant professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Haven, Dr. Amanda Simson has worked on rockets for Boeing and alternative energy technologies for Watt Fuel Cell. Dr. Simson taught middle school math for 3 years and helped found and develop the curriculum for the first Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem, NYC.
Dr. Naomi Klinghoffer has been a teaching fellow for the NY Academy of Science and the Columbia Center for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement. She currently does research on alternative energy technologies at the Gas Technology Institute. Dr. Klinghoffer and Dr. Simson were lab partners during their PhDs in the Combustion and Catalysis Laboratory at Columbia University.
We're already brainstorming the next edition of Valence. Will there be double or triple bonding? Endothermic and exothermic reactions? States of matter? The options are as rich as science. All we know is there will be more elements, more molecules, and more reactions!
Risks and challenges
This is our first game, so while we are planning for everything there will naturally be challenges that would be easier if this was our second or third time around. That being said, the game is 100% complete, we've thoroughly researched production and distribution and are confident that we'll be able to overcome any obstacles we encounter. We took a deliberately minimal approach - besides the T-shirts, which we've sourced locally, we can produce everything we need from the same manufacturer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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