Expanding our usability, Dig-iT! Games is thrilled to announce Excavate! Egypt is now available in Dutch! We’re beyond excited to be able to spread our love of archaeology, Ancient Egypt and gaming with more players and students. Read More
Listen up parents and educators; I have some helpful information if your children are seeking new ways to create things that simple Legos cannot. Emilia Keen, a teacher at the local junior high school across from the park, informed me that there is a rental service called LurnBot. She said that it would be useful in encouraging an interest in programming. As the silent invading forces of AI slowly take over the workplace, our youngsters must learn how to control and possibly overthrow any AI, in case of an emergency. Or you know, they could build a program and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Either motivation works.
Anyway, LurnBot has affordable prices, and class packages are available for students in elementary, middle, and high school. No matter what age, students have the choice of picking a product that they can build or code. Looking over the website’s possible rentals, I found the Makeblock DIY Starter Robot to be interesting. If I were a younger student again, I would be ecstatic putting it together and quietly give a mischievous laugh in the corner. Minor evil plotting aside, if your student or child gets attached to one of the robotic or coding products, they can be bought from LurnBot. Basically you pay the difference of the rental fee and retail price but check the store for exact details. This is advantageous as it gives one the opportunity to try before you buy.
Now, readers, I have a curious mind, so I decided to ask Mr. Josh Kim, the owner and founder of Lurnbot, more questions about his company. The responses were helpful and provided a bit of comfort against the previously stated AI takeover.
Interview with Mr. Josh Kim
What inspired you to create this rental service?
I have two daughters. I bought a lot of Legos and toys for the elder one. Choosing one was not difficult since my daughter always knew what she wanted. But many of those toys was a waste of money. And most of them were thrown to the closet after a week or two. After becoming a teen, there are only two, an American girl and a LEGO boat, are left in her closet.
Now the younger one is old enough to play with these toys. I looked into robot kits because I wanted more productive toys for her. This time, it was too hard to pick the right one since there are too many. Also, they could be quite expensive and cost hundreds of dollars. That could be a bit much, especially if you don’t know whether she would like to keep it even after two or three weeks. This made me think about the LurnBot.com, which categorizes these kits by level or skill sets and lets people rent kits only when needed. They can try it for three weeks, and if kids really want to keep, they have an option to buy the kit. You can rent kits at an affordable price, and then extend the period or even buy them if you want to have them. Kids will get more chances to experience different kits at an affordable price to buy one.
Should people, especially the younger generations, be worried about AI taking over the workforce?
Yes and no. Robots are everywhere as a physical one or software. You can easily find the physical robots in the factory, airport, etc., and also software bots such as RPA(Robotic Process Automation) bots in banking site or in the workplace. Many jobs have been lost by those robots, and it is really happening, but some jobs could not be replaced. Kids should focus on those things. Understanding programming can be a starting point. Instead of competing with robots, leveraging them is required.
Is programming a crucial skill that everyone should have basic knowledge in considering the times we live in?
For kids, yes, it is necessary. For adults, I am not sure. Adults may not need to understand coding. Programming is a kind of language like music. People using different languages can understand each other’s thought through their coding. Now kids who will live in a wave of devices and IT should know the principles of programming as the foundation on which the world works even if they won’t be a programmer. Programming also teaches logical thinking and helps to think step by step.
Could programming be helpful to people who do not want to pursue a scientific or technological job or career?
Same as the answer above. To use a smartphone or watch TV, you don’t need to know what the OLED is or how to control the screen pixels. Since the interface is getting better and better, understanding what is beneath them is not mandatory. Of course, it’s helpful to know how it works, but it’s not essential. Nonetheless, if you can understand basic programming concept, you can have a diversified view on those systems.
Do you market this service towards adults like teachers and parents?
Most of LurnBot’s customers come to the site by having the same needs as mine. Kids want to have a robot kit, but parents don’t want to spend the unnecessary initial investment on products which they have no idea “what it is”.
The users of the kits are, of course, kids, but the actual marketing target of the LurnBot is parents and teachers in their 30s to 50s. Initially, I targeted parents. For now, most customers are homeschool, alternative schooling, or public schools teachers who want to set up a maker space in the library or STEM program.
How does LurnBot get people’s attention against similar rental or subscription services?
Transparent pricing is the most appealing point. Rental prices were determined in consideration of factors like the weight of the product and the difficulty of managing. In the case of shipping charges, the two-way shipping fee is already included in the rental price after we carefully investigated. So, there is no hidden cost, and the amount shown on the product page is what the customer will pay. It prevents customers from experiencing to leave the checkout page, feeling that he/she is cheated with the expensive two-way shipping cost.
Another appealing point is the quick customer service. We provide fast service to our customers through various channels. If there is any problem with the kit, such as missing parts, the replacement will be shipped within 24 hours. We got lots of appreciation and applause from customers about our fantastic “Customer First” service.
Does LurnBot have competitors?
Various companies are actively doing rental business for LEGO and children’s toys. But there aren’t many sites to rent programmable kits. A company called Stemtrunk, which was funded through Indiegogo, is running a subscription model. They also provide an after-class program.
So, there you have it. We may not need to worry about humans experiencing joblessness so quickly. Gaining the knowledge and experience at an early age will make it easier to navigate the ever-progressing world they will come to know. Lurnbot rental service is perfect for building those programming foundations early and help them grow into technologically savvy adults. It shouldn’t be expensive for children to have the chance to gain an interest in coding or robotics. For those who do feel a connection to these skills at a young age, they should get the necessary tools and experiences that will lead them to success. The worse that could happen is that your child becomes a supervillain with robot minions, but that rarely ever happens. With all this in mind, parents browse the LurnBot store today!
In 2018 Dig-iT! Games decided to let our designers, artists, and developers loose and create a puzzle adventure game (Roterra™) for casual mobile players. We had a new mechanic and concept for art and a 16th-century Italian poem for reference, what we didn’t have was a lot of experience marketing to mobile users. Figuring out how to market to the casual mobile game player has been a journey in trial and error and with some highs and lows. Read More
President George Washington has been immortalized in the minds of the American people. Most remember him for his leadership and deeds during the American Revolution, while others think of his presidency. He had been put in countless situations that could have changed the course of our history in drastic ways. He dealt with events such as the Newbury Conspiracy and Genet Affair with experience, courage, and patience. For a man held in such high regard in our history, it seems nearly impossible to fill his shoes. That is until now! George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate has created a live digital theater game that allows players to be George Washington.
In Be Washington, players must keep their wits about them in this fun simulator and take charge in four significant events during George Washington’s time in command of the Continental Army and The Presidential Office. During these scenarios, players will have various advisors Washington would have had to aid in making decisions. While they listen, new information related to the situation will appear. The latest news can either solidify their choice or change their mind on what to do. For example, one of the scenarios is the Battle of Second Trenton. Once the players are given all the necessary information about the event, they are met with multiple advisors. Each of them has differing opinions on how to handle the situation, so it is vital that the players listen and consider whether or not they agree. While the advisors talk, a timer counts down until it is time to make a choice. The timer pauses when more information comes in about the battle.
Once all the necessary information is given, the players have ten seconds to decide. After a decision is made, it is revealed what George Washington did in that particular situation. The percentages of who chose what answers are compared to each other on-screen. Doing this provides a unique view of people’s choices when faced with those high-pressure situations. From an educational standpoint, Be Washington provides insight into what it takes to be a leader. It also embodies the importance of learning history. An examination of history is crucial in not only preventing it from repeating but also improving the world into something more.
Play George Washington At Home
This game can be played in singular player mode at home, but also allows for groups to play as well, which is perfect for a classroom setting. Be Washington would be an excellent fit for teachers and students who have an interest in history while also making it fun. To play as a group, someone would either host the game or join a game with a code to enter. It is compatible with Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded at their perspective stores. It can also be downloaded and played on desktops that support Google Chrome and HTML5 software.
The game has won several awards including the prestigious Outstanding Achievement -Limited Budget from the Themed Entertainment Association
More George Washington and US History
Play Dig-iT! Games Loot Pursuit-Early America set in Jamestown.
Summer is upon us and that means that your vacation planning is likely well underway! With air travel being more popular than ever, European destinations are potential contenders for many families. Historic and fascinating locations such as Rome and Greece are destinations that the entire family can enjoy.
Before jetting off to one of the most historically important places in the world, why not let your kids have a fun culture lesson about your upcoming destination? Not only will they appreciate the destination more, but this can lead to life long memories of seeing something they previously learned about in person!
It’s no secret that kids love playing games. Here at Dig-iT! Games®, we have games that are so fun and interesting that your kids may not even realize that they are also learning some really cool historic facts!
Travel To Ancient Lands
Our Excavate! game series allows your children to play as an archaeologist excavating particular sites in search of artifacts. It includes six individual games representing a historic culture in history: Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, MesoAmerica, and Byzantine Empire. After choosing their excavation location in a game, players will go through a short tutorial to teach them al about the tools that are used by archaeologists and in which situations they should be used.
After taking care to find and dig up each exciting artifact, players will examine each artifact. The player will read a question related to the artifact, and then will be given a choice of answers where they will choose the one that seems the most logical.
Wrong answer? No problem! This game is educational, so the player chooses until they get the right answer. After selecting the correct answer, more interesting information is given about the artifact that explains in more detail why it was so important.
After seeing all of these cool artifacts and learning about them, like how Roman gladiators wore armor that was segmented to allow flexibility during hand-to-hand combat, your trip will be more enjoyable for everyone! Not only will you get to visit all of those historic sites that you want to see, but now, the whole family will be knowledgeable and interested to see these sites in person!
After the end of each Stratum level, the player will fill out a form all about what they learned. (That’s why it is important for them to take notes!) The form contains context clues, but still requires to player to have paid attention during the excavation process.
As we previously mentioned, not only are the Excavate! games educational, but they are also a lot of fun. Don’t be surprised if soon, you find yourself playing as well!
Games For Your Destination:
Match your destination to our Excavate games!
It has been over two weeks now since we launched our newest puzzle adventure game Roterra – Flip the Fairytale to the App Store. This has been quite an adventure for a small indie studio but we could not be more excited about the positive response from puzzle game players. For those of you that have purchased our game, thank you so much for your support.
Nothing says the end of the year like an influx of new movies, holiday-themed and otherwise. We’ve put together a list of highly recommended holiday movies for all members of the family. We’ve put some for adults, some for the kids, and some for the adults who are really kids at heart.
Holiday Movies at the Theater
None of these are holiday-themed, per say, but they should prove to be fun experiences!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Summary: Teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops superhuman powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Pitted against Kingpin, Miles must team up with other Spider heroes sucked into his world from their own to take down the hulking villain and return the other versions of Spider-Man to where they belong
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Summary: Arthur Curry, half-human and half-Atlantian prince, must step up to lead his people as his half-brother Orm begins to seek the unification of the underwater kingdoms for the purpose of rising up against the people on the surface. Along the way, Arthur struggles between his ties to the sea and his ties to the land.
Mary Poppins Returns
Release Date: December 19, 2018
Summary: A sequel to the beloved Disney film, now starring Emily Blunt as the titular nanny alongside Lin Manuel-Miranda and Meryl Streep. Michael and Jane Banks are now grown-up with families of their own. However, when Micheal suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins returns to their lives.
The Classics to Watch at Home
Here’s where to find all the good holiday content for movie night at home.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: January 7, 1947
Summary: It’s the story of a man named George Bailey from childhood to adulthood, who finds himself in dire straits one Christmas. After being rescued by a guardian angel, George learns the importance of his life and how much he means to his friends, family, and even acquaintances. It’s generally on TV every year and can be found streaming on Amazon Prime.
Release Date: November 7, 2003
Summary: Buddy, a human, was accidentally transported to the North Pole and was raised into adulthood by elves at Santa’s workshop. He begins to realize how he doesn’t fit and decides to head to New York City in search of his real father. However, he has some trouble fitting in with modern society. Elf can be rented from Amazon, or you can catch it on TV.
Release Date: July 15, 1988
Summary: There’s a debate as to whether Die Hard is really a holiday movie or not, but it’s definitely a fun ride. Definitely for the adults in the family. John McClane, New York City police officer, must save the day on Christmas Eve. Die Hard can be rented on Amazon, accessed via a Cinemax subscription, or found on TV during the holiday season.
What’s your favorite holiday movie? Do you have one that you watch every year? Let us know and add to the list of recommendations.
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Winter break is coming up fast! What can parents do to help their kids stay active over the holiday season? We’ve got a few suggestions for fun and education (and usually both!) that you might add to your plans for the next few weeks.
Entertainment over Winter Holidays
The holiday season is the time for sweets! Make some of your own with your kids. If you want to go above and beyond, make it into a bit of a chemistry lesson too. Check out Cookie Science as a place to start. Changing the recipe really is the same as performing an experiment. Learn how to make the perfect cookie.
Movies come out in droves over the holidays. Next week’s post will be about upcoming holidays movies, focusing on a few in more detail, but it’s a great season for family movies and ones with serious Oscar buzz. Check out the schedule of what’s coming out this month.
End the year with New Year’s Resolutions, of course. Make a list with your kids about goals you want to accomplish and things you want to do in the coming year. Here’s a few ideas for helping your kids come up with resolutions they can accomplish. Make some of your own, too, whether that’s taking more time for yourself or taking more time for work. Get ready!
Education over Winter Holidays
We just put together an entire post of winter-themed STEM activities to do with your kids last week. Take advantage of the weather as you can for fun chemistry experiments and science crafts. If more kids are visiting for the holidays, these can be a great group activity to set up for them.
Of course, if it gets too cold out there, our catalog of educational games are always a great option. Let your kids outside virtually with Excavate! or let them explore outer space with ExoTrex.
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Winter is a great time of year to get hands-on with STEM activities, science experiments, and more! Don’t let the cold keep you from making discoveries and learning about the way our world works with activities for all different weather and climates.
For something easy, think about demonstrating molecular structure through melting ice in different forms. STEAM Powered Family has a great experiment which involves packing ice, snow, and liquid water into jars to see which will end up with the most liquid.
No snow in your area? Try making your own to experiment with, even if you can’t make enough to make a snowman or have a snowball fight. Left Brain Craft Brain offers a few different recipes for making snow.
For something a little more decorative, make a snowstorm in a jar or grow some crystals. A Dab of Glue Will Do has all the instructions for the former- it can teach kids how a snowstorm works without bringing them out into one! For crystal making, grab some pipe cleaners or a pine tree branch along with other ingredients listed on Little Bins for Little Hands.
Hot Cocoa and Sweets
Of course, sometimes it gets too cold to do anything with the snow outside. On those days, try out one of these tasty science experiments that help your kids learn and make them feel like they’re getting a treat!
There are a lot of things you can do with hot chocolate, from having a race to making it bubble up in surprise. You can also make hot chocolate themed slime to play around with.
Candy canes are another one to play around with. Test how fast different types dissolve or how fast they dissolve in different temperatures of water. It’s even possible to re-bend candy canes into different shapes through an experiment.
Stay Indoors with STEM Games
Our educational games are always evergreen, making them the perfect STEM activity for cold winter days or any other time of the year! Pick up the ExoTrex series for your kids to explore the galaxy, learning more about the way space works. It’s a great supplement to STEM activities in any season.
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Holiday break is just around the corner, and everyone at school is likely looking forward to having some time at home to relax. Before students can take their well-earned break, however, think about showing your teachers a little appreciation with a holiday gift. Tell them you’re looking forward to the rest fo the year!
This isn’t just for students! Teachers can offer support to other teachers, or parents can pick something up for their children’s instructors. The important thing is that these gifts show support!
Useful Gifts for Teachers
1. A water bottle or travel mug
Hydration and caffeination are essentials for keeping a teacher going through the day. Make it a little easier for them with a fun new thermos or water bottle.
2. Classroom supplies
Have you noticed the classroom running low on tissues, gluesticks, or extra pencils? Bring in a box or a few boxes to help your teacher restock.
3. A donation
Give a gift to a charity that would be important to your teacher, whether that be an education fund or something more specific to the topic they teach. Send them a card to let them know that you made it in their name!
Fun Gifts for Teachers
1. Tea or coffee
We know we already mentioned the travel mug, but it’s also nice to get a selection of great coffee or tea. Think about offering a sample pack or picking out a few flavors that they might love. Parents may need to help with this one.
2. A small plant
A succulent or a cactus make for good decoration. This gift works especially well for science teachers, and then the best for environmental science teachers. If you know your teacher gardens, replace this with seeds.
3. A gift card
Pick somewhere that you know your teacher will appreciate. If they really do love coffee, go for the coffee card. If they’re always very stylish, maybe pick a clothing store. A gift card is a good bet for when you’re not sure what else to do, but still try to put some thought into it!
A Gift That’s Both Useful and Fun!