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The exciting world of physics mixed with out of this world golf!

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WARP DRIVER overview

In the future, robot golfers compete in the ultimate space golf tournament. Tee off against your friends on alien worlds with changing atmosphere and fluctuating gravity. Master the laws of physics as you upgrade your robotic brain. Discover conservation of energy, aerodynamics of ball flight, gravity, lift, and drag in order to win the Cosmic Open.

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Experience breakdown

Lesson Plan Overview

This is the first lesson plan for the teaching tool, Warp Driver. Warp Driver is a game, based in space, that combines the game of golf with physics. As students play through the series of planets, they will be exposed to a wide range of physics topics that relate to the game of golf. Each planet has different conditions that change the physics of the game, and it is up to the student to figure out how to adjust to these conditions. On each planet, there are 3 highlighted physics concepts that the students are exposed to. Along the way, they will be asked physics questions in order to reinforce the concepts. The physics concepts that are presented build on top of each other as the student progresses through the game. By the end of game, the student will have a better understanding of these complex topics and how they tie in to the game of golf. The game can be played by itself or with the following lesson plans.

The other two lesson plans for Warp Driver can be found here:

  • Here is the Lesson Plan for Planet 2
  • Here is the Lesson Plan for Planet 3

Learning Objectives

Driving Range learning objectives
  • Define inertia, equal and opposite reactions, weightlessness, and velocity through research from the game’s glossary and
  • Identify how inertia, equal and opposite reactions, weightlessness, and velocity are portrayed in the game visually and through written descriptions.
  • Expand on observations made and the topics portrayed in the game through a whole class discussion.
Planet 1 learning objectives
  • Understand and define the three core topics:
    • Core topic 1: Forms of energy and Transfer of Energy
    • Core topic 2: Club Effect on Parabolic Arc.
    • Core topic 3: Relationship Between Velocity and Acceleration.
  • Understand that the core topics illustrated within the game mirror how they are observed in the real world.
  • Investigate and research core topics in the game and through outside research, extracting relevant information.
  • Develop working definitions of the core topics with team members through verbal, written, and visual (drawings, screenshots) articulations.
  • Collaborate with team members to present findings clearly, citing outside research and providing examples from the game.

lesson steps - quick version

Below are the truncated lesson steps for using the Warp Driver's Driving Range level and Planet 1 to introduce the game and teach the core topics (listed in the learning objectives). For a more in-depth guide, please go to the section below this one.

Driving Range Lesson Steps:

Step 1: Introduce students to physics topics that can be observed in the Driving Range level (Newton’s 1st Law, Newton’s 3rd Law, Weightlessness, Velocity).

Step 2: Have students play the Driving Range level in 3-player co-op mode and explore the topics by defining them and finding examples of how they can be observed in the game.

Planet 1 Lesson Steps:

Step 1: Review the topics from the previous day (driving range)

Step 2: Have students use the game over the next two days to research a topic, collaborate with other students who have been assigned the same topic after a play through of the planet, and assume roles to create a presentation.

Step 3: To do this:

  • Have the students form groups of 3.
  • Assign one of the 3 core topics to each student in the group, so that every group has 3 topics.
  • Hand out the research guidelines worksheet to each student.
  • Encourage students to use the “pause” button feature while playing in order to conduct their research while playing on each hole. The pause feature is best used during the visualization for the physics concept. Students can also click on some of the telemetry data and get further info.
  • Start on planet 1, and play 3 player co-op mode.
  • Have students play through the entire planet, while conducting their research. If multiple playthroughs are required, allow them time to do so.
  • Once the students are finished, have students group up in their big teams with the other students who have the same topic assigned to them.
  • Allow time for students to collaborate and discuss their research findings.
  • Have students pick a role for their group (example roles are listed below), and work on their presentations
  • Once students have finished creating their presentations, allow the groups to present their findings to the whole class.
  • Allow for around 10 minutes per presentation.

Step 4: Wrap up with a whole class discussion and address any questions that still may exist with students about the topics researched.

Lesson Steps - extended version

Intro to Warp Driver & Driving Range Level

Time: 1 day, 45 minutes a day
Driving range- session 1

STEP 1: Briefly introduce the following topics that are highlighted in the Driving Range:

  1. Inertia/Newton’s 1st Law
  2. Equal and Opposite Reactions/Newton’s 3rd Law
  3. Weightlessness
  4. Velocity
  • Note: Reference the glossary in the game for a definition of these topics. Encourage students to utilize this anytime they have confusion about a topic.

STEP 2: Introduce the game and divide the students into groups of 3.

STEP 3: Have the groups play through the Driving Range and explore the topics. As they play, they should be answer the following:

  • Define each term (e.g., Newton’s 1st Law, Newton’s 2nd Law, Weightlessness, Velocity)
  • Illustrate and clearly describe where each topic is observed in the game.

STEP 4: After the groups have played through the Driving Range, engage in a whole class discussion about the topics. Encourage students to define in their own words what each topic is, and answer any questions that may pop up.

STEP 5: For 10 minutes, continue into a full class wrap-up discussion. Allow the students to ask questions about topics they are unclear about, need more clarification on, or want to expand on the material.

  • Optional: To provide some incentive for the students, add a "PGA Tour" Competition. Students will compete with each other on each hole to earn the best score. As the students play through the levels, they will keep track of the scores they get on each hole. The players with the top 4 scores at the end of the game (after all 3 planets) will play in a PGA Tour Final. This will encourage students to try their best to complete each hole and gain exposure to all of the material embedded in the game.

Planet 1

Time: 2 Days, 45 minutes a day
planet 1 - session 1: Play through the planet

STEP 1: Briefly introduce the following topics that will be highlighted in Planet 1:

  1. Forms of Energy/Energy Transfer
  2. Club Effect on Parabolic Arc
  3. Velocity and Acceleration
  • NOTE: Reference the glossary in the game for a definition of these topics. Encourage students to utilize this anytime they have confusion about a topic.

STEP 2: Have students form groups of 3.

STEP 3: Assign each student in the group one of the 3 core topics. Each group should have one of each core topic to focus on. As the group plays through the planet, the students will use their worksheet to gather information about their assigned topic. The worksheet has the following questions:

  • What is the topic?
  • Why does it occur?
  • How is the topic projected within the game?
  • How/Where do you see this topic outside of the game?
  • Illustrate this topic.
  • What other observations about this topic can you make?
  • Research this topic online. What other information can you find?
  • What questions do you have about this topic?

STEP 4: After all the groups have played through the planet, have students meet up with their classmates who have same topic. These will form the big teams the students are in for their class presentation. There should be three teams:

  1. Team Parabolic Arc
  2. Team Energy and Energy Transfer
  3. Team Velocity and Acceleration
STEP 5: Give the teams some time to discuss their topic/findings, start planning their presentation, divide up the roles, and prepare for making the presentation the next day. Here are roles students may have while creating the presentation (will vary based on team size)
  • Team coordinator- Responsible for helping out the other students in the team and makes sure things are being done.
  • Online researcher(s)- Responsible for researching the topic online and coming up with more information about it in order to develop a stronger explanation.
  • Artist(s)- Responsible for the visual components, so playing through the game specifically looking for places where the topic is illustrated and hand drawing the concepts.
  • Writers- Responsible for writing out the information about the topic from the group discussion/researchers.
  • Presenters- Responsible for presenting to the class.
  • NOTE: It is up to the creativity of the team on how to fully approach the presentation. Encourage the students to use poster board, overhead projector, or any other means necessary to offer a more robust presentation. The presentations should run about 7-10 minutes each.

STEP 6: Save the last 5-10 minutes for a class discussion to answer any questions that students may have.


STEP 1: Have students meet up with their teams and finish their presentations. Presentations can be done in any visual way. Some examples are posters, a powerpoint, Prezi, or Thinglink. It is important to encourage students to make their presentations as visual as possible.

Here are some key points the teams should address during their presentation:

  • Define the topic and why it occurs.
  • Explain how it is seen in the game as well as in the real world.
  • Illustrate the topic with hand drawings and screenshots from the game itself.
  • Elaborate on major points about the topic and provide examples.
  • Provide questions for further expansion or future research on that topic.

STEP 2: Each team will give a 7-10 minute presentation about their assigned topic.

  • Encourage students to take notes during the other presentations as there will be an assessment given at the end of the planet.

STEP 3: If there is time, allow 5-10 minutes for a class discussion where the students can ask questions for clarification or topic expansion about any of the topics presented on.


Next Generation Science Standards for Driving Range

MS-PS2-1: Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

Next Generation Science Standards for Planet 1

HS-PS3-1: Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.

HS-PS3-4: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics)

MS-PS2-1: Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

MS-PS3-1: Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.

MS-PS3-2: Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.

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