PointZero

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PointZero

Pupils play an adventure game using a range of number, spatial and logic skills in order to progress and eventually gain access to a building.

Overview

The Case Study is an adventure-driven puzzle game based around the central themes of survival, escape and the quest to uncover the truth. Pupils assume the roles of three lead characters who have awoken trapped in strange and varying locations in an unfamiliar urban environment, following an undisclosed event. They need to use their mathematical skills to solve logic problems in challenging situations so that each character can gain access to the 'PointZero' Building. The activities include: exploring complicated number sequences to scale a high rise building, using loci to find the way out of a complex underground network and reproducing geometrical patterns to deactivate a museum security system.

The work encourages pupils to reflect on how numbers, algebra and geometry influence our daily lives, albeit in ways which may not be immediately apparent.

Mathematical content

Solve number, spatial and logic puzzles. Use of number sequences, rotation and reflection to recreate a pattern, codes and loci.

Specific Key Stage 3 National Curriculum areas covered include:

  • Key processes - analyse situations using mathematical procedures; interpret and evaluate, communicate and reflect on their results.
  • Number and algebra - generate, predict and describe common integer sequences, such as square and triangular numbers.
  • Geometry and measures - recognise and visualise the transformation of 2D shapes; find and describe loci; explore geometric constructions.
  • Curriculum opportunities - thinking, reasoning and problem solving; working collaboratively.

Organisation and pedagogy

This Case Study contains differentiated materials for three lessons and is designed for use with average and higher attaining learners in Years 8 and 9; it includes follow-up homework activities. It has been primarily designed for use in an ICT suite in which learners should be arranged in small groups around the computers to maximise the opportunities for collaboration and discussion.

The teacher is encouraged to adopt a facilitator role, introducing the chosen activity at the start of each lesson, offering appropriate levels of support to students during group work and drawing the learning together at the end of the lesson.

Resources provided

This Case Study is in the form of a self-contained software application for use by pupils and teachers. The "Teacher notes" area of the software contains:

  • Teacher notes.
  • Supporting worksheets to print out.
  • Detailed lesson plans for each of the three activities.

Resource requirements

(including hardware & software)

  • The software should run in any recent web browser with Adobe Flash Player installed. The recommended way to run it is direct from this website, but the complete package can be downloaded as a .zip file for offline use.
  • All the lessons require a computer for each pair or small group of students.