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SYSTEMS THINKING & 21st Century Skills

"Education is not the learning of facts, but training the mind to think"- Albert Einstein

5th GraDe

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Starship SImulator

click on the mission poster for more details

Two civilizations are on the brink of all-out war.  Intense negotiations are underway between their diplomats, when all of a sudden, one of the key diplomats becomes very sick. The other side claims he has been poisoned by the other! The Infinity Knights have been called in to discover the source of the diplomat's sickness. You and crew will shrink down to the size of a red blood vessel as you head through the organs of the diplomat in search of a way to keep him from dying. If he dies, there will surely be war!


You will play the board game Pandemic, a cooperative game in which you will strive with your team to save humanity.  Study the rules before you come to the EIC. Better yet is to play the game on your iPad or Android tablet first.

Short play through

Long full game playthrough

If you have the means, you can download Pandemic to your device and play at home prior to coming to the mission. This is the best way to understand the game.

Click here to read the rule book

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Gameplay Overview

Pandemic is a cooperative crisis management board game similar to Settlers of Catan. Rather than competing with each other, players work together as a team of Center for Disease Control members who prevent a widespread pandemic. The goal is for players to win the game by stopping all four deadly diseases from spreading across the world map. While this strategy game can be challenging for many, understanding the rules will help the team win.

Set Up the Board Game

Players want to ensure that they have all the board game pieces needed to play the game:

  • 1 board depicting a map of the world with connections between cities

  • 5 player pawns

  • 6 wooden research stations

  • 6 markers (4 cure, 1 outbreak, 1 infection)

  • 96 wooden disease cubes

  • 115 Cards (48 infection cards, 59 player cards, 4 role cards, 4 quick reference cards)

Each player takes a random role card, a reference sheet, and a starting hand of cards. These cards help with traveling, developing infrastructure, or curing a disease:

  • 2 players: four cards each

  • 3 players: three cards each

  • 4 players: two cards each

Prepare the Player Deck

Players start the game at a research center in Atlanta where they each place the pawn that matches their role card. Infection and outbreak markers are placed at the first space on their respective tracks:

  1. Players shuffle the infection deck.

  2. Three cards and three cubes of the appropriate color are drawn. Each is placed according to the city.

  3. Three more cards are drawn and two cubes are placed in each city.

  4. Three final cards are drawn with one cube placed in each city. All cards, once drawn, are placed in the infection discard pile.

  5. The player deck needs to be divided into four equal piles, and one Epidemic card should be shuffled into each pile. Place the four piles on top of each other to form the player deck.
    Optional: Players can create an even more difficult game by using five or six piles on top of the epidemic cards.

  6. Once the player deck is ready, the player who has most recently been sick takes the first turn. 

Choose a Character

There are several character cards players can choose from that all have different skills. It's a good idea to choose which character to play after each game's first infection—and after each player has their cards. For instance, someone who just received several yellow cards (each color represents a specific disease) may want to consider selecting the Scientist role:

  • Dispatcher: This character can move other players' pawns as if they were their own (with permission) as an action. They may also move any pawn to any other pawn without playing a card (also as an action).

  • Operations Expert: The role of the Expert is to build a research station without playing a card. However, it counts as an action.

  • Scientist: The Scientist is the one who cures a disease with only four matching cards. Of course, this must cost an action and a research station.

  • Medic: The Medic can remove all cubes of a single color when treating a disease. Every cube of a cured disease in the same city of the Medic can be taken away immediately (including newly placed cubes). This will happen for each player throughout the game, not just on the Medic's turn. Plus, it doesn't count as an action.

  • Researcher: The role of the Researcher is to give any card to other players in the same city (on this player's turn). For one action, the Researcher can also do so on another player's turn.

Take up to Four Actions on a Turn

Players can take up to four actions on their turn. Action items may include things like moving to an adjacent city or discarding a card to move to a named city. There are several more actions players can choose from:

  • Discard a card matching your current city to move to any city.

  • Move from your current city with a research station to any other city with a research station.

  • Discard a card matching your current city to build a research station there.

  • Cure and remove one disease cube from your current city.

  • Pass a card matching your current city to another player in the same city.

  • Discard five cards of the same color at a research station to cure that color's disease.

After selecting four actions, players will draw two cards from the player deck. Most of them are city cards, but some are Special Event cards which may be played at any time. The hand limit of seven cards is strictly enforced at all times, so after increasing a hand beyond seven, players must play or discard cards until their hand size is back down to seven.

Drawing an Epidemic Card

If players draw an Epidemic card, they must immediately discard the card, advance the infection rate marker, draw the bottom card of the infection deck, and place three cubes in that city. Then, they'll want to shuffle the infection discard pile and place those cards on top of the infection deck.

After drawing the player cards and resolving any epidemics, players must draw a number of infection cards equal to the current infection rate, adding one cube to each city revealed. If a fourth disease cube would ever be added to a city, that city suffers an outbreak, spreading cubes to all adjacent cities.

Winning the Game

The players all lose the game if the player draw deck runs out, the eighth outbreak happens, or if the cubes of any color run out. However, if the players manage to cure all four diseases before this happens, they win the game.

Virtual Reality

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The body vr

The Body VR: Journey Inside a Cell is an educational virtual reality experience that takes the user inside the human body. Travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body. Enter one of the billions of living cells inside our body and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.

Tilt Brush

Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

Star Trek Bridge Crew puts you and your classmates in the heart of a starship.  As officers of the Federation, every action and decision you make together will determine the fate of your ship and crew.  The federation will dispatch you and your crew to command the new, USS Aegis (Eee-gis), as part of a critical initiative. 


Your mission: explore a largely uncharted sector of space known as the Trench in hopes of locating a suitable new homeworld for the decimated Vulcan populace.  The Trench contains stunning beauty and undiscovered wonders, but also strange anomalies and dangers yet unknown.  The Klingon Empire is also active in the region, and their purpose is undoubtedly a threat to the Federation's plans. It's up to you and your crew to chart the sector to determine the Klingon's aims and secure a peaceful Federation presence.

However, it's not just the Klingons you'll have to worry about, you will test your combat skills even further against the stealthy cloaked Romulan fleet and the virtually unstoppable Borg.

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