PowerUp is an online multiplayer game from the New York Hall of Science. Players work together designing and building energy solutions to save Planet Helios. They explore the island and talk to engineers to help figure out what they need to do. A teacher’s guide provides background information for teachers and lesson plans that give students opportunities for more in-depth exploration of science and engineering concepts addressed in the game. Be sure to read the instructions on the Web site before beginning the game to learn the keystrokes needed to move your avatar. (Grades 9-12, science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM])


The goal in Lure of the Labyrinth is to find and liberate the pets (including your pet) that seem to have gone missing in the odorous and mysterious place called the Tasti Pet Factory. Players will meet a group of extremely unpleasant monsters and try to outsmart them by solving puzzles. The site includes an extensive professional development section for pre-algebra teachers, with videos showing how to use the game within the curriculum. (Grades 6-8, math)

In Wolfquest, students learn about wolf ecology by living the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park. This game from the Minnesota Zoo and the International Wolf Center can be played individually or in multiplayer mode. Players try to form a family pack, raise pups, and ensure the survival of their pack. (Grades 4-12, science)

In the game Foodforce, students become part of a team sent to the island of Sheylan by the World Food Programme to help feed millions of hungry people. It is designed to make children aware of the global hunger problem, especially for children, and demonstrate that concrete steps can help, and that working on hunger is exciting and cool. (Grades 9-12, social studies, global literacy)

Fatworld, from Public Television’s Independent Lens, is a video game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S. The game’s goal is to demonstrate the complex, interwoven relationships between nutrition and factors like budgets, the physical world, subsidies, and regulations. Players choose starting weights and health conditions, including predispositions towards ailments like diabetes, heart disease, or food allergies. They construct menus and recipes, decide what to eat and what to avoid, exercise (or not), and run a restaurant business. (Grades 9-12, health literacy, family and consumer education)

In Cool School, children encounter 52 different conflict resolution scenarios in an animated school. After watching a conflict unfold, players are given four options to resolve the problem and then see how their choice would play out. When students make correct choices, they are rewarded with trophies for the school trophy case and they earn a missing alphabet letter. This game was created by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. (Grades K-2, conflict resolution)

Quest Atlantis is an online virtual environment that lets students explore virtual villages and worlds to complete quests. These quests include socially and academically meaningful activities, such as conducting environmental studies, researching other cultures, calculating frequency distributions, analyzing newspaper articles, interviewing community members, and developing action plans. (Grades 4-8, global literacy, health literacy, science)

Betwixt Folly and Fate is an immersive 3-D role-playing game that places students in 1774 Williamsburg as one of four characters. In each role, players face the challenges of daily life in early America while learning about the social classes and customs of the time. They explore eighteenth-century Williamsburg, Virginia, which is populated with dozens of characters, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. Players also may bargain for goods with shopkeepers and try their hand at several colonial games. This game is not free; it may be purchased for $111.95 from Colonial Williamsburg as part of the “Day in the Life” video series. (Grades 4-8, social studies)

Electrocity was designed to teach students about energy, sustainability and environmental management. Players manage a virtual town in New Zealand and control its development through 150 turns, dealing with such issues as energy, the environment, tourism and growth.