As I mentioned yesterday, my daughters are currently obsessed with Elinor Wonders Why and the question in its theme song, “why do birds sing and how do they fly?” Answering the question about how birds fly led me to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its online game called Flap to the Future.
Flap to the Future is an online game through which students can learn about the evolution of animal flight. The game has four levels for students to progress through. They begin play as a small theropod dinosaur and end play as a futuristic flying animal. Along the way students will also play the game as a microraptor and as a robin. The game is played in a classic video game style of running or flying along a landscape while collecting points for advancement through the game. It’s a bit like what you might see if the classic version of Mario Brothers replaced Mario and Luigi with dinosaurs and birds.
Applications for Education
At first Flap to the Future grabbed my attention as a fun game for students to play to learn about bird flight. But the more I played it and the more I read about it I realized that it’s could also be a fun way for students to learn about how dinosaurs and how scientists learn about dinosaurs.