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Boys will be boys, and boys, for some reason that I really don’t get, LOVE explosions! I mean, I get why one could love explosions, but even though we don’t watch violent movies or read violent books, nor play violent games of any sort, Leo gets into these modes where he goes around making explosion noises and waving his hands like something is exploding. To be fair, we do talk quite a lot about the big bang and how black holes form from the remains of supernovas (supernovae?)

I’ve variously tried to harness Leo’s interest (and energy) into some science via games. I’ve previously written about Poke Chem, which was one attempt to do this. I thought Poke Chem was great, but we didn’t make it pretty enough, or complete enough to really play to any great extent. (Kick Starter! đŸ™‚

The other day we did a different version of my trying to harness Leo’s explosive energy regarding explosions into a more direct chemistry lesson by creating a Hopscotch game that did a rough but non-stupid job of simulating the energy of reaction leading to the release of “explosive levels” of energy.

Here are a few screen shots; it’s pretty self explanatory, and you can play the game yourself if you have Hopscotch, but just clicking here.


The basic setup: You get to set the initial and final energies and the activation energy (the barrier level).


When you hit the material with a hammer at the “strike” energy, if you get over the energy barrier then you get back an explosion.


The size of the explosion depends upon how much energy you get back (the difference between the activation energy and the final energy levels).


Note that it’s drawing lines with various tries.