Some apps are just really fun to develop. Mouse Maze Math is one of those apps! For me the idea of programming a mouse to run through a maze is an old one. I used to kid my programming students that we were going to see who could build the smartest mouse. We would set out to write programs where we used graphics to define a maze and then added a section of the program that would control a little red blip that represented the mouse. The object was to write a program that would navigate the maze and eventually get the red blip to move to the yellow blip that represented the cheese.
Computers have come a long way since the days that I was working with 7th and 8th graders at the first computer lab in Ventura County. I read in the news today that Apple’s new Mac Book Pro is 6.8 million times faster than the original one. That’s pretty amazing and Mouse Maze Math is pretty different from what was possible back in the days when floppy disk drives were a new thing.
Mouse Maze Math challenges students to answer arithmetic problems as they give navigation instructions to a mouse to enable it to run through the maze. It is available for iPads and Apple TV. In the iPad version students tap green arrows cause the mouse move in one of four directions: left, down, right or up. In the Apple TV version a student can either use the Siri Remote by swiping and tapping or use a game controller to control the mouse.
In the maze shown below some of the pathways are blocked by arithmetic symbols. When these symbols are encountered a calculator-like device is displayed.
If the student answers the problem correctly the mouse stays on the spot and the student can continue to solve the maze.
Mazes are randomly selected and automatically displayed when the dice icon is tapped, but mazes can also be built by the students. By dragging elements of the maze onto the grid, student are able to construct a maze. Mazes built by students can be saved and retrieved at a later time.
Mouse Maze Math is a fun way to practice arithmetic and also creatively use the iPad to design and construct mazes. I’ve always believed in active teaching and active learning. I hope teachers will enjoy using this tool with their students. Teachers should let me know if they are interested in evaluating this app for use at their school. I have a limited number of download codes for FREE evaluation copies of this app. I hope that elementary students enjoy practicing basic math skills with this app and that this colorful interactive app will help them in their journey to become great problem solvers.