How about using it in the classroom?

Discussion related to promoting Factorio.

How about using it in the classroom?

Postby bripi » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:51 am

That's what I am doing! Ever since discovering Factorio I have been wracking my brain to see how I could fit it into any of my classes. I teach grade 9/10 science, grade 11/12 "football math", and grade 11/12 physics...and i just feel this is a resource that I could *definitely* use but haven't really figured out the best way to. Currently, I am teaching "Energy" to the 9/10 group using the "simulation" - we need to stay away from the idea of "game" as "games" on computers are strictly forbidden at school - and the students are *really* excited...so am I, because it means I get to play more Factorio! Perhaps, even, some of them will come up with new designs...who knows!
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby GoldenPorkchop80 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:39 am

Yeah, I can see how this would work, however, you're gonna have some roadblocks.
First off, let me say this: the only thing I can see this game work is Math and possibly Calculus. So far, there hasn't been anything close to physics implemented in the game, and there really isn't any scientific merit in the game, because, well, it's set in an alternate/futuristic universe, and that isn't exactly our universe. :cry:

So well, how does math tie into this?
Spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets.

So, you wanna make an awesome factory?
Well, you could, y'know, go out and BS it and make a super inefficient factory off the top of your head.
OR.
You could pre-plan everything with SPREADSHEETS!!! :P vrfr

Y'know, break out the trusty TI-83 and calculate Power Network optimization, Supply to Demand ratio, etc...\
And the best part is that it's SCALEABLE!!!

I did make a longer post that included some examples, but my sh*tty MacB*tch Pro kept screwing up, so it got deleted. Why not? :x :x :x #KillApple

So, my hate rant aside, I think it would make a great teaching tool, but for a very limited area. :P
Best of luck!
10 ? "{CLR/HOME}"
20 ? "ARE YOU PLAYING TF2?"
30 INPUT A$
40 IF A$="Y" OR A$="YES" GOTO 70
50 IF A$="N" OR A$="NO" GOTO 60
60 ? "GO PLAY TF2!":END
70 ? "GOOD FOR YOU!":END
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby evildogbot100 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:42 pm

I think if you use standard curriculum it will be hard to use factorio for teaching anywhere since it doesn't inherently teach any school subject. The best I can come up with is if you make a makeshift introductory engineering lesson in physics class. Then use factorio to spark interest to engineering. Because factorio feels a lot like engineering (easy to make something work as long as you get the idea but hard to optimise).

If you teach coding, then modding factorio can be a good exercise for lua.

For math, if you teach calculus, then maybe you can use factorio power handling to explain calculus a bit. Something like explaining power usage graph with speed beacons and not enough power. But honestly it is too much hassle to use factorio than explain it in rigorous math way. It is not even guaranteeing better understanding for your students.
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby ssilk » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:03 am

Yeah, power and work.
https://wiki.factorio.com/Units
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby Plawerth » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:15 pm

The programming of the logic gates makes this potentially very valuable as an educational tool. In the USA, it seems difficult to get kids interested in programming, so this can be yet another tool to help make that happen, alongside Scratch, Alice, and Minecraft for Education.

Difficulty: The authors of this game need to provide low-cost volume licensing, to help get this off the ground. Would be nice if there was an educational purchasing route other than having to set up 25-250 unique Steam accounts owned by the school so that several sessions of students can use it.
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby Proxy » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:47 pm

With Mods that Correct and Extend the Oil/Chemical part of Factorio.
It could also help teaching Chemistry, Reactions, Names of Elements/Molecules and Symboles.

Someday when there is Space, it could be used for Astronomy as well. In the Version 3.4 or something xD
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby daniel34 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:23 pm

Proxy wrote:Someday when there is Space, it could be used for Astronomy as well. In the Version 3.4 or something xD

I don't think Factorio is suitable for that purpose, it's mainly a factory simulation. Kerbal Space Program, Universe Sandbox and Space Engine (which is free and made for that exact purpose) are probably better candidates.
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby Proxy » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:24 pm

daniel34 wrote:
Proxy wrote:Someday when there is Space, it could be used for Astronomy as well. In the Version 3.4 or something xD

I don't think Factorio is suitable for that purpose, it's mainly a factory simulation. Kerbal Space Program, Universe Sandbox and Space Engine (which is free and made for that exact purpose) are probably better candidates.

Sorry, i just Love Space.
and there are Mods. RTS Elements can add to a Galaxy Wide Factory... but whatever :D
and i already knew all of those Games you Mentioned.
and SpaceEngine is the best one of them.
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby Shenpen » Mon May 22, 2017 8:51 am

bripi wrote:That's what I am doing! Ever since discovering Factorio I have been wracking my brain to see how I could fit it into any of my classes. I teach grade 9/10 science, grade 11/12 "football math", and grade 11/12 physics...and i just feel this is a resource that I could *definitely* use but haven't really figured out the best way to....



The real way to use factorio in teaching stuff is to learn how to make simple mods to factorio and do that in order to make factorio illustrate the stuff that you need to teach. As in making recipes for Potassium Permanganate and its precursors for a chemistry class. Chemistry is off course a no-brainer for this, but there are many non-obvious applications of the same principle.

Item defined:
{
type = "item",
name = "potassium-permanganate",
icon = "__precursors__/graphics/icons/potassium-permanganate.png",
flags = {"goes-to-main-inventory"},
subgroup = "powders",
order = "a[potassium-permanganate]",
stack_size = 200
},

Recipe defined:

{
type = "recipe",
name = "potassium-permanganate",
category = "chemistry",
subgroup = "powders",
energy_required = 22,
enabled = "true",
ingredients ={
{type="item", name="manganese-dioxide", amount=4},
{type="item", name="potassium-hydroxide", amount=4},
{type="item", name="potassium-nitrate", amount=4},
{type="fluid", name="gas-compressed-air", amount=9},
},
results=
{
{type="item", name="potassium-permanganate", amount=1},

},
main_product= "potassium-permanganate",
order = "h[potassium-permanganate]",
},


As the precursors are not in-game items (yet) you need to make item definitions and recipe definitions for those too. If you cant make what you need from standard ores, you need to define a ore that will give you what you need. Or you can make a "dummy recipe" that makes manganese from wood. You need to supply a 32x32 png picture for each item that you add to the game.

The point about this kind of simple mods is that you don't actually make the game do anything that it does not do already. You just call it by a different name and supply slightly different graphic icons.

Edit: Klonan.tv no longer has any videos
Did Klonan delete the old tutorial?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHZvq6 ... -wA/videos
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby abregado » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:16 am

We are using Factorio for problem solving, critical thinking and other soft skills. I think that when thinking of uses for games in the classroom, people get too hung up on the "what does it simulate?" train of thought. As we know from Factorio, some trains are very dangerous!

When dealing with games in traditionaI classrooms, I always try to think more along the lines of what can I demonstrate indirectly.

For example, for Grade 5-6 you can indirectly and practically demonstrate Ratios.
For Grade 6-7 you can allow practice of "Reverse Logic"
For older students you can demonstrate feedback loops and "just in time delivery"
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Re: How about using it in the classroom?

Postby abregado » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:22 am

Plawerth wrote:Difficulty: The authors of this game need to provide low-cost volume licensing, to help get this off the ground. Would be nice if there was an educational purchasing route other than having to set up 25-250 unique Steam accounts owned by the school so that several sessions of students can use it.


Factorio is available in a DRM free form. As long as schools know that the product has been purchased, there is no reason to go down the Steam route. Having run Factorio at schools fairly often, I can tell you that the IT and Legal departments are going to be sad if you ask them to run Steam on a school network.

Wube will sell you bulk codes, and you can install the DRM free version on your schools provisioning software. Given the price of other EDU software, the full price of 20 bucks for Factorio is an absolute bargain.
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