“Challenge All” of Your Fellow Blasters

Blasters, which games do you like most when you play Math Blaster? Because you are all so hard-working and dedicated at training in the Blaster Academy, you probably play your favorite games over and over again so you can learn more and get better scores.

Now, you do not have to stop at challenging yourself — you can challenge all of your Math Blaster B.F.F.’s in a battle for the highest scores!

Once you have finished playing a game, you will see a couple of options, including “Replay Game,” “High Scores,” and “Challenge.” If you click on the “Challenge” button, you will be taken to a screen that will show all of your B.F.F.’s.

Instead of having to select B.F.F.’s one at a time, you can select all of them at once and challenge them to beat your high scores in your favorite games. See who can get to the highest levels, win the most credits, and reach the top scores. Even if you cannot always battle each other directly in each game, you can have a friendly competition as you try and best each other in your high scores.

Have you tried out this “Challenge All” feature yet? Which games do you like to play the most in Math Blaster? Tell us about your “Challenge All” experiences, and about the fun high score battles that you have in the comment section below!

 

Out of This World Foods

While many of us celebrated last week’s Thanksgiving holiday with delicious foods and other seasonal treats, did you and your kids ever stop to wonder about the foods astronauts might eat while celebrating  holidays in space? When food is taken into space, there are various requirements it must meet in order for trips to space to remain as efficient as possible. Space programs like NASA must consider how foods are stored, their overall weight for takeoff preparations, packaging, shelf life, nutritional value, and most of all how they will handle in zero gravity situations.

In the early days of space exploration, extended trips included simple, specialized foods that were often consumed through straws or packaged in tube form. More recently food supplies to space have become more varied with the help of food handling techniques in dehydrating, freeze drying or thermostabilization. Generally, when processing meals for space travel, any excess moisture or lingering microorganisms that cause foods to spoil must be removed. Foods are then later re-hydrated in space where hot water is readily available. In certain cases, some ready to eat items like fruit or vegetables can even be stored and consumed without special processing.

Other advances in food for spaceflight include specialized packaging and coatings on items to help prevent crumbs or any food related debris from interfering with the functionality of a space orbiting shuttle. Additionally, meals are usually served on trays that are attached to the walls of the shuttle or fastened to their laps or tables. The specially packaged foods are then attached to the trays using systems with magnets or other fasteners and warmed through the injection of hot water for purposes of re-hydrating the packaged items.

These meals are specifically designed by dietitians that ensure that all proper nutritional requirements are being met for each astronaut. Depending on an astronaut’s country of origin, some space programs have even designed meals around culturally specific flavors or foods. Moreover, some special observances are made for holiday meals like the recent Thanksgiving celebration aboard the International Space Station, which included smoked turkey, corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie, and thermo stabilized yams.

Despite the many advances in food designed for space travel, there are still a few precautions in place to help assure that missions remain safe and efficient. If your family would take a trip to space, what foods would you and your kids hope to find? Are there any things or seasonal holiday treats that they might look for ? Let us know!

It’s A Math Blaster Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Blasters! It is that wonderful time of the year again when friends and family all gather together to celebrate the things they are thankful for. This holiday is filled with many traditions, delicious food, and exciting fun. Do any of you Blasters have some Thanksgiving holidays that you stick to each year?

At Blaster Academy, we are proposing that you start up a brand new Thanksgiving tradition. In addition to having your Thanksgiving dinner party at home with your family and friends, why not host a cool party in your own personal Math Blaster Pod? Instead of the adults in your life being the hosts of the party, this time, you get to be the host.

Can you tell us about what types of games and activities you do at your Thanksgiving parties? What kinds of special foods do you eat? Do you have specific Thanksgiving decorations that you put up for the season?

All of these traditions that you have at home could be brought to your Thanksgiving Pod Party. Although you may not be able to eat real food in your pod, you can all use your imagination and think of a wonderful, decadent meal to satisfy yourselves. What is more, you could also think of fun games for all of your party guests to play. Maybe you can all play a Blaster name memorizing game, or a Thanksgiving trivia challenge? These are only a few of the cornucopia of games choices you can use to entertain your pod party guests.

Do you Blasters have any cool, interesting ideas for when you throw your Thanksgiving pod party? Let us know by commenting below. Maybe you can all come together and take a screenshot! Make sure to send it over to us, and you might see it as the new Screenshot of the Week.

Practicing Math in the Kitchen

For parents across the globe, holidays like Thanksgiving often result in a few extra hours in the kitchen. To help relieve some of the stress of cooking on your own, consider getting your kids involved in all the work.

Did you ever notice that you can practice basic math skills in the kitchen? The tasty results and hands on experience of cooking can make some lessons more memorable than those pulled directly from a textbook. From calculating costs and conversions to adjusting measurements and other simple equations, there’s much for your kids to learn beyond common culinary techniques.

Some tasks they could easily take on include:

  • Measuring ingredients – this can help your kids become comfortable with identifying and measuring quantities. That way, you can have all of your ingredients ready before you begin cooking or baking.
  • Manipulating recipes – if you need to increase the servings of your recipe, have your kids try to adjust each ingredient measurement. For example, if you plan on doubling the serving size, they could easily multiply each measurement.
  • Measuring cooking time – for kids learning to tell time, you might create an activity around how long it takes for certain dished to cook. For example, try adding your recipe’s cooking time to the time on the clock and ask your kids what time the dish should be completed.
  • Preheating the oven – use this as an opportunity to have kids practice conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Some recipes might not have this information readily available, so you can get your kids started on learning these easy equations.
  • Preparing baking pans – baking recipes often call for specific sized pans. Have your kids practice their measuring skills by using a ruler to find the one that you will need to use.
  • Calculating cost – have your kids look at your shopping receipt and add up the cost of each ingredient listed in your recipe to practice basic addition.
  • Dictating recipes – this not only helps you properly follow your recipe while cooking, but it also gives your child practice reading aloud.

These unique teaching techniques will have your kids excited to practice their math skills outside of school. And, after all their hard work, they’ll be given a tasty treat once your dish is ready to serve. Give it a try on your next cooking adventure and let us know how your kids liked learning about math in the kitchen.

Simple to Tough: Unlock them all!

Hey Blasters! Are you having a tough time accomplishing some of your achievements? Here are some tips and tricks to keep you on track so that you can boost your rank in the Intergalactic Space Patrol.

Don’t forget; you can always track your achievements by accessing your bPad at the bottom right of your screen. Click the Achievements Icon and see what you’ve earned so far. The ribbons and trophies you have won will be in color. Click each achievement to begin your mission of unlocking and completing them all…

Unlock the Space Station Defender achievement by playing Red Alert 5 times.
When you use Red Alert for the first time, you already earn 25 merits. But play 5 times and earn a white ribbon and 15 times to earn a red ribbon. Finally, to get a trophy, play Red Alert 40 times.

Remember that you cannot play Red Alert whenever you want. Red lights will flash and you will be notified when red alert has gone into effect. When this happens head to the Red Alert portal to help save the galaxy and unlock the Space Station Defender Achievement.

Want more insider information on our achievements?

Blaster Academy Activity: Space Slime

Math and Science can be difficult subjects to understand, especially for young learners like your Blasters. To help them get a better grasp on more complicated concepts, you can use simple ‘do it yourself” projects at home as exciting new learning tools. 

For example, have you ever wondered how you would explain the idea of a chemical reaction to your kids? Chemical reactions occur in our everyday lives when substances are combined to result in a change from their initial chemical make up. In this case, we will be examining the process of creating “Space Slime,” to show your Blaster what happens when we combine different chemical compounds.

What you need:

1 tsp Borax
1 cup Water
½ cup Glue (regular white paste)
Food coloring
2 containers

Directions:

  1. In one container, combine 1/2 cup water and a few drops of food coloring. The number of drops will determine the shape of color that you’re slime will end up. For space slime, you might want to use green, but you are more than welcome to use other colors depending on your child’s preferences.
  2. Add in 1/2 cup of glue to your colored water mixture.
  3. In the second container, mix 1 teaspoon borax with 1/2 cup of water until the borax is completely dissolved.
  4. Stirring slowly, combine the two mixtures together.
  5. Once the slime begins to form, start kneading the mixture with your hands.

As the chemical compounds link together during the various mixing processes, you and your kids will be left with an all new substance or as Max and the rest of the Math Blaster team calls, “Space Slime.” This malleable putty is a safe and educational means of explaining how reactions can change the chemical structure of the items we used as ingredients.

But creating Space Slime is not the only creative craft that we could use to explain simple scientific concepts. What are some of the other amazing activities that you use to help teach your kids about complex ideas? Let us know.

Max and GC Release Their Mutts

Hey all you Blasters out there, how are your Mutts doing? Have you been taking care of them as diligently so that they can grow up big and strong, so you can release them later?

Max and GC have done just that, Blasters! Max recently released his Mutt, Dustin Beaker, and GC also released her own Mutt, Lady Rah Rah. Now, both Max and GC have started to raise new mutts.

GC has a new Space Griffin named Dark Space. This little Space Griffin has been steadily growing under GC’s care. Have you Blasters been keeping up with making sure your Mutts are happy, fed, and well-rested? Do you also notice Lady Rah Rah sitting on the sofa in the Muttpod?

Meet GC’s new Space Griffin — Dark Space

Scaly Scientist, Max’s new Ickasaur, seems very comfortable in his new home, right? Max has also been doing a great job of making sure that Scaly Scientist is growing up to fulfill his Mutt potential!

Meet Max’s new Ickasaur — Scaly Scientist

Max and GC have been making a lot of new changes to their Muttpods and Mutts. Have you Blasters got any new ideas of your own? Are you thinking about changing up the design of your Muttpod?

Continue to take care of your Mutts well, and soon enough you will be able to release them like Max and GC did for their own Mutts! Tell us about your Mutts; what did you name them, and why? Do you have any cool color kits you want to show off? Let us know!