Tag Archives: UC Berkeley

ThinkFun’s CEO Champions a BigLeap Challenge for Games to Make Kids Smarter!

From Marketwired – Aug 20, 2013:

sylvia and bill ThinkFuns CEO Champions a BigLeap Challenge for Games to Make Kids Smarter!

BigLeap Launches First Crowd-Funding Challenge Platform for Social Good: First Challenge Aims to Give Children Everywhere Access to Free Games That Can Actually Make Them Smarter

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – BigLeap, the world’s first crowd-funding prize and reward network that allows passionate advocates to drive social change via competition-based challenges, today launched its first challenge: to make education more accessible.

BigLeap’s first challenge is championed by Professor Silvia Bunge, a neuroscience and childhood learning expert at U.C. Berkeley, and Bill Ritchie, the CEO of ThinkFun games. The challenge will give children everywhere access to free games designed to improve their brain power by helping to develop their reasoning and logic skills via simple, interactive game play.

 

ThinkFun’s mission has always focused on bringing mind challenging games to children everywhere, and this challenge is an exciting new way to ensure these brain building games reach even more communities. Read more on Bill’s involvement in this challenge and find out how to get involved here!

So What is Brain Lab Anyway?!

Last week’s NCTM show was fantastic!  Despite lower than expected turnout, the group was small but mighty!  We were thrilled to connect with educators from all over the country and share our new online Brain Lab program!

“So what IS this Brain Lab anyway?!”

So glad you asked!  In a nutshell, Brain Lab is an online playground for your brain!  This new, web-based program uses specially targeted Rush Hour challenges to stretch and train three specific types of reasoning abilities:
– Speed Reasoning (rapidly and accurately processing information)
– Working Memory (mentally maintaining and manipulating information)
– Fluid Reasoning (combining cognitive speed and memory skills to solve new problems)

Why these three areas?  In exploring how the brain develops and benefits from challenging, strategic games, we deferred to the experts – in this case the research team at the Bunge Cognitive Control and Development Lab at UC Berkeley.  Dr Bunge and her team, whose initial research showed that students who played Rush Hour and other games showed an increase in performance IQ, described how game play supports reasoning abilities, the highest level being fluid reasoning.  Exercising Memory and Cognitive Speed, Dr. Bunge explained, strengthen the brain’s fluid reasoning ability.

NCTM poster 800 So What is Brain Lab Anyway?!

Brain Lab is organized into three areas.  In the Training Room, players build strategies to tackle new challenges and learn the language of problem solving. Players put these skills into play in the Practice Lab and earn points by solving challenges and stretching your reasoning capacities! All this training prepares you for the Weekly Tournament! Compete for a top spot on the Leader Board, an ever-changing score display which encourages players to push themselves to rise to the top!  Throughout your training and competition, the Super Solver characters are there to provide support, push players to stretch themselves to more and more difficult challenges, and celebrate success!

Brain Lab is in BETA test phase now and currently accessible by invitation-only.  To find out how you can participate, either with your class or with your family at home, send me an email!