To Learn Is To Play

Texas Independence Simulation This is a great website where you will learn all about how the Republic of Texas was created. You will need Flash player for this. It is free and you do not need to sign in or login. Watch the movie The Road To independence and play the simulation game In Washington Town.

NASA Be A Martian This is a fantastic simulation game from NASA. It is free and again you do not need to sign in but can play on a Tourist Visa.

UPM Forest Want to explore a forest? Then this is the site for you. Turn up the volume to appreciate this site.

Stop Disasters! A disaster simulation game.

Students, choose two of the simulations for your response. You should visit all four, but your response should focus on the two you enjoyed the most.  All sites are free and do not require sign in or login to play. Of course, you can register for any of the sites if you want, and I believe by doing so would allow you to then be able to save any game content. Understand that if you are not able to view or access a site (like the WolfQuest site)  it is not because of the site, but due to how your computer is set up as far as hardware, memory, etc.

Please tell me what you liked about the simulations you played and what you learned. I am looking for specifics that will tell me that you took some time to go through these sites. So many of you asked for more game simulations, that I thought you would enjoy another week of fun and exploration.


  1. The first site I went to was the forest one. I learned a lot about forest life. One thing I learned was that the capercaillie is the largest game bird in the forest, they sometimes eat dust or gravel from the road in order to improve their digestion. The Ural Owl is a non-migratory bird that can make its nest from holes that are already in trees. The Ural Owl also defends its young very aggressively.
    The three-toed woodpecker eats mainly bark borers that are under the bark of dead trees.

    I also went to the “Stop Disasters!” game. I thought it was very challenging. The first time I tried it, I didn’t know you could move around the map so I only saved a small amount of people. The second time, I did the fire one, I only had five people died. One of the things I learned was that it costs a lot of money to prevent disasters, or at least try. I also learned that when there is possibility of a fire, they have to firebreak a large amount of land, which can cost quite a bit of money.

  2. Ok out of the four I enjoyed the Stop Disasters! Game the most, but I liked the UPM forest a lot because of them all it was the most educational. Personally I love learning about forests so even though the UPM forest wasn’t a game I spent most of my time messing around on that. Stop Disasters! Was extremely hard, and I have to say I failed. I could not actually get to the point where it would allow me to start disaster because I had done so many things wrong I have to start all over. =( I wasn’t very happy about that. When I realized there was a map at the bottom to explain what areas were safe and not, I almost flat out quit the game because I was so frustrated but finally I got the game to finish, with 80% of my people dead. Please remember if people are out looking for someone to design a safe city, not to recommend me. When it came to searching throughout a forest I had no problems, I found the information on the red fox and its den very interesting.

  3. The first one I am writing about today is the Forest one. I thought it was pretty cool. Living in Florida you don’t really have the forest around much, so with this site you could go in and see it as if you were there. I’ve only been in a real forest like twice and that was out of state. I thought the site also taught you a lot too.

    My favorite one was probably the natural disaster one. I wasn’t very good, but it was fun. I learned it takes a lot of money, too, but everything now takes a lot of money. I think the fires were the hardest because they catch on quickly. My favorite was the tsunami. I think it is weird talking about your favorite types of disasters.

    They both were great and factual, which is nice.

  4. I went to all the websites but one (the Texas Independence simulation wouldn’t download for one reason of another), and my definite favorites were the UPM Forest and the disaster awareness simulation.

    What I liked most about the UPM Forest was how realistic it was. Since it was made using actual pictures of the forest it was interesting to “walk” through it. I especially liked learning about the wildlife living in the forest. My favorite birds to learn about were the Ural Owl and the Dunnock. I found it interesting that even though there are only three main tree species found there (Scots Pine, Norway Spruce, and Birch), there are really very many tree species. I also enjoyed being able to go onto the observation deck to see what people on it might see. I was wondering though, as most people probably have so far, why the blueberries were red. Were they the blueberry blossoms?

    My second favorite site was the disaster awareness simulation. My favorite situation was the flood. However, I wasn’t very good at it. I lost twenty lives the first time through, and failed the mission objective. I did learn, though, that there are many strategies to keeping your home protected from floods. First of all is the fact most people probably already knew, and that is to keep your home on high ground. Also, you should avoid muddy or loose ground because during a flood, water can cause a mudslide and cause severe damage. Another important safety tip told us to keep temporary or permanent shelters along an easily accessed route so that those evacuating can be safe. One thing that I thought was best about these sites was that even though they are educational, they are still fun.

  5. I liked the UPM forest website alot. Learning about birds that live in the forest was very interesting. There were pictures and videos for most of the animals. One of the many facts that I learnt is that the caparillie is the biggest bird that is hunted for game in the forest. This bird is normally hunted while it eats gravel. The graphics on this website were really nice and the tour of the forest was detailed, it was great, especially with sound affects.

    My favorite web simulation was Stop Disasters!This game was fun yet educational at the same time. I really got the experience of being a city planner. Bad city planning can lead to disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti. I failed both of the times that I played the game. The easiest part is developing homes for the unhoused population. The hardest part was keeping the buildings sturdy and placing the right ones in the right spots. To be a city planner you would have to go in with a good strategy.

  6. I only did two of the simulations. I did the Stop Disasters and the Road to Independence. I liked the Road to Independence the best. I thought it was very hard and a little confusing at the start. I always rode my horse to the destinations. The first time I did before supper, and I didn’t ride a horse and I never made it to the river. Then when I came back I made it pretty far in the game. I got kinda frusterated in the banjo hero because I had to do it five times and I missed almost all the notes.

    I also really liked the Stop Disaster game. The first time I did it I didn’t do so well. I didn’t realize there was more locations the first time I did it. I failed both times I did the simulation, but did much better on the second one. One of the first mistakes was that on the first one is that I only had seventy-five dollars left and I only built wood houses, and one brick one. Most of my money was taken up by the earthquake sensors. I did not do so well on these two rounds.

  7. first game I played was “Stop Disasters!” I thought it was fun but not one of the games I would play in my free time, it was more of a “play-at-studyhall-when-your-homework-is-done game.” I was in Asia and I had to protect my people from a tsunami… yeah, it didn’t work out. It said “FAIL!” in big capital letters, that didn’t make me feel very good about myself.

    The second game i played (in this case viewed) was the martian game… that was exremly boring. It was probably so boring because i onlt did the tour because I didn’t want to create an account. I hoping for something that involved fighting aliens or something like that.

    1. @brennan15, well it is the same thing with becoming a member it is still boring and i was also disapointed that there as nothing like that wolf game.

  8. First I played the disaster game. It was fun, but of course, I failed. I’ve noticed I’m not very good at these games. I played the hurricane mode. I did pretty good in my own way. I let 28 houses go down, had only 4 deaths, and just over 100 injuries. To me, I felt successful, but to the game I failed. It was cool how you had a budget on the amount of money you can use. It proves that it requires a lot of money for preparing for a hurricane. But if you think about it, if there was no preparation, you’d lose even more than you would (from all of the damage and repairs) be if you spent money to prepare. Overall, it was very fun.

    Next, I visited the forest web site. It had a lot of good information. Who would have ever thought that that much activity goes on in the jungle? I guess you have to go within the first trees to notice what it’s really like. Anyways, I was surprised how many types of birds there were. Obviously I know that there are a lot of plants just from looking at the forest, but most of the birds hide, so you don’t know much about how many there are.

    Overall, again, I liked this blog. It was fun just like last week.

  9. My favorite site was Disasterville. t was really hard the first time I played it but easier once I knew what to do. I played tsunami and only 24 people died and 32 were injured. Then I played forest fire and zero were killed and nobody was injured. I also found it interesting that trees could be fire proof. I immediately think of trees to burn no matter what. Apparently certain types of trees can be fire proof though. I also thought that even though I built weaker houses on higher grounds for the tsunami, it was interesting that the wave didn’t knock them over. I guess even though they were close to the water they were helpful.

    I also visited the UPM forest. It was amazing. I enjoyed seeing the animals especially the Willow Warbler. I did find its nest odd though. It was buried underground and referred to as oven like. When I think of ovens I think of “Preheat to 350 degrees,” I don’t think that is what they meant about the bird’s nest. I also enjoyed the three-toed wood pecker it was an interesting creature. I thought it was amazing that it ate from under dead bark. That sounds gross.

  10. I explored all of the sights, however I liked the disaster website and martian website the best. With the disaster website I choose to protect the town from the tsunami. I was surprised that when i put the mangroves and sand dunes across the coast, it really helped to prevent the tsunami. I also saved a lot of houses.
    I also liked the martian game. I loved how you could explore all of Mars.

  11. The first one I am writing about today is the Forest one. I thought it was pretty cool. Living in Florida you don’t really have the forest around much, so with this site you could go in and see it as if you were there. I have never been to a rain forest so I thought it was really cool. I personally like the three-toes woodpecker the best because it looked so and was so interesting. I got pretty far into the website until I had to go eat so, I had to stop.

    Next I did the Stop Disaster simulation. I actually found this really addicting and fun at the same timeI did all of the simulations but it wasn’t easy until I figured put how to move the screen around. The only simulation I actually didn’t do was the tsunam because it was taking to long, tooi. I thought the other ones were enoigh information though. To make it even more informative you had to click on the information button. On the fire one (before I realized I could move around) I put the fire resistant trees everywhere but the fire got into the building and everyone died. I failed so much it was really fun how much I did if I was like someone hows sa es people I would be fired for being so bad. All the less I thought these sites were great and I wish I could do more right now.

  12. My favorite stimulation I played was the “Stop Disaster!” one. I chose to play the hurricane stimulation because it looked a lot like Florida. It was really interesting and fun. I learned that there are lots of ways to prevent damage from hurricanes. Sand dunes, breakwaters, and mangroves can protect shoreline and the main land. Schools and community centers can house people if their home isn’t safe or if it was damaged after the storm. Hurricane shutters can protect windows from wind and debris. My first couple times I failed, but then I learned what to invest in and what could be left alone. The site taught ways to protect against hurricanes. The information can be used when we have hurricanes here in Florida.

    The other stimulation I played was the UMP forest. Learining about the different animals and habitats was very interesting. It was a fun site and had a lot of information. The video clips were really cool. The man did have a funny accent though. I learned that there are a lot of different types of trees in a forest. There is a great diversity of creatures in a forest. Trees, fish, birds, and many other animals make the forest their home. The site was fun yet educational. It made learning about the world around us easy and fun.

  13. The two games I played were Stop Disasters and UPM Forest

    The first one I play was UPM Forest. I really liked this website because it is really informative about the forest, and it was very interesting because I love to learn about animals and other wildlife. I loved to hear about the bird called the capercaillie it is the bigest bird in the forest. Another one of the things I learned was that there are 30 different species of trees, but the main three are Scots pine, Norway spruce, and Birch.

    The other game I played was Stop disasters. I liked this one a lot because it was really fun saving all the people and trying to stop the disaster. I found the Flood easiest to stop. The wild fire is really hard! The hurricane was probably my favorite one cause I already knew what to do to all of the houses to keep them safe since we learn about it a lot at school.

  14. My computer wouldn’t load the first two sites but the UPM-Forest Life one was very interesting. I learned a lot about animals and their habitats. I also, learned about different kinds of plants, like the Fly Honeysuckle the scientific term is: Lonicera xylosteum. This plant is a shrub, the shrub lives in nutrient-rich soil, the shrub also has berries on it and the berries are very poisonous to people if you eat them, but no poisonous to birds. Another interesting thing I learned was that the Black Woodpecker hollows his home in either a pine or an aspen tree. There main food source is carpenter ants. The carpenter ants live at the base of the tree.

    Also, the disaster simulation game was so much fun. I failed all the levels that I tried and I even tried different spots and still I failed. But thank you so much for the interactive games they are so much fun! I learned in the Hurricane one that you have to be prepared all the time even when you least expect it, it could come at you out of nowhere. Just like the simulation.

    P.S. I hope we have more simulation games, they were fun.

    1. @alexp15,

      My favorite one was the “Stop Disasters,” because I liked saving people lives even though some people still died.

      Sorry forgot to add that.

  15. The first simulation I went to was the forest one. This was probably my favorite of all. I loved going through the whole forest and learning about different animals that live in the forest and what sounds they make. It really felt like you were there to experience it. I found that my favorite animals were the silver-studded blue butterflies, the black woodpecker, and the willow warbler. I liked these animals because of the way they looked and the sounds they made. I also found it interesting learning about the different trees. My all time favorite animal was the common shrew. It was adorable! I loved hearing the sound of the water as it went down the stream it was very soothing. Overall I really liked this site because of the way it breaks things down for you into retainable information, and making it fun to use. I actually felt like I was there!

    The second simulation I went to was the “Stop Disasters” game. I wasn’t very good at preparing my village. I didn’t really know what to do or when the tsunami would come. It was actually very sad. When I got everything ready the tsunami struck. When I went to view scene to see the damages, I was heartbroken. I had 14 buildings destroyed, 0 people sheltered, and there was $5,850 worth of damage! I ended up with 81 people dead and 78 injured. I am not a good president! There was only one highlight to this whole simulation; I passed with a final score of 10,700. Between this weeks simulations and last weeks simulations I have concluded that I do not possess the talent to play computer games.

  16. My favorite website was stop disaster. It was really cool how I had to build a house for everyone, and then protect them with natural resources. I liked how I was the ruler of the town and I had to make a safety plan for anything that was coming. I learned that it takes a lot of time and thinking to come up with a great idea for a city that will stop every disaster. Each type of disaster has something that protects the people the best, so I always had to be thinking. I learned that a city and a new county isn’t just once you have the government and shops straightened out your done,No! You have to come up with safety plans, evacuation plans, everything disaster possible you have to find a way to get out of it.

    My second favorite games was Texas Independence Simulation or In Washington Town. I thought it was very cool how you got to move yourself, and move the ride the horse by yourself. I also like how you talked to people. I learned that the fall of the Alamo wasn’t the only part of the Texan Revolution, it was many different things. I really enjoyed this game especially, because you go to move the person, talk to people, and go whatever way you wanted all by yourself.

    I really enjoyed these And I hope we do more in the future.

  17. The first of the provided websites that reached my top two was, “Stop Disasters.” It was certainly a disaster, and I didn’t seem remotely capable to stop one. My first attempt was unmercifully executed on the flood disaster. I think it may have gone fairly except I was unaware of the fact that the simulation was connected to time, hence I did other homework while occasionally stopping at the game to add something here or there as the though crossed my mind. I was working on a white board in a different side of the house when my younger brother passed the doorway commenting dryly that the computer screen now had a timer in the bottom corner counting quickly down. I arrived just in time to see the catastrophe hit my pitiful European town. Subject to a controller who hadn’t created an evacuation plan, provided natural barriers, built better homes on high grounds, built the hospital and school, or even replaced risky homes, the town didn’t stand a chance. (I am proud to announce that I did cover the wells.) I am completely elated that the coffee-stained report with the results will never reach any résumé, and I was euphoric this was only a simulation. The result was my people are swimming with the fish, and as Black beard may have bellowed, “They are sitten’ down in Davy Jones Locker.” I also attempted the fire simulation, which even with full attention didn’t end well. My only hope may have been if the game offered an automatic rainstorm to quench the raging red beast. I finally concluded with the tsunami attack. In general it went well for a change, my only mistake was a lack of a warning system. I also earned the gold medal. From these simulations I learned the following: it is often the small changes in large numbers that have the greatest impact, 50,000 may seem like a lot to renovate (it isn’t,) the natural protections are often the best, and for the sake of human kind, I should probably pack my bags and find a new profession without a few more tries.

    My other visit was paid to Texas and its rally for independence from Mexico. I enjoyed the great graphics and the characters. I learned a lot about the attempt to separate from Mexico. As a side note I also discovered I am hopeless at Banjo Hero (the 8th of January was all too much.) I thought it was slightly humorous that the independence of Texas originated in Washington (eventually to become its capital.) I would have been upset too if my leader had disbanded the country’s constitution and became a dictator. I was interested to hear that many came to Texas for land bought from Mexico. I also liked that some children wanted the Mexicans to win because if Texas became independent it would set up schools. My father “pa” is still lost in cyber space due to my incompetence at Banjo Hero, but I did learn loads from the video and simulation to that point. Thanks for the sites.

  18. The first site I visited was the Disasterville one. I actually did a LOT better my first time than I expected. I played the forest fire scenario and had zero deaths and zero losses. After that I tried the tsunami one and had about fifteen deaths and about thirty injured. I thought it was interesting how many different ways there were to protect against a tsunami such as sand dunes and even trees.

    The other site I visited was the Martian site. I thought it was really interesting. I thought all of the videos were amazing and I learned a lot. Also it was interesting how you could map Mars. I was a little confused how to use the site at first but then once I realized it was very simple to navigate.

  19. I thought that all of the games were pretty entertaining.

    The first game I played was the NASA Be a Martian. It was really informative. I really liked the game where you had to pack the stuff on the space shuttle. My best score was a ninety-two percent but I got that on like my fifth attempt. I figured out that playing Texas hold’em is hard when the chips won’t stay in one place so they wouldn’t pack that. I also think that bringing a cell phone to mars would be a silly idea. I am going to ask T-Mobile thought if they could put that on my cellular plan just for the sake of having it. Free minutes on nights, weekends, and Mars. I also thought the videos were cool. I thought it was unfortunate that the Spirit rover got stuck. I thought i was cool though, that Spirit would still be sending out messages to headquarters. The people at headquarters received some valuable science information tough so I guess that was a silver lining. The last thing I did on the site was an absolute joke. I thought that the Dr .C guy would actually answer some of the questions I had about Mars. It turned out that I knew more about mars than Dr. C. I think the C in Dr. C stands for clueless. All Dr. Clueless did was act shocked when I asked him a question and kept shaking his head left and right as if he was reading my message for ever more. My question was only four words long! “ Why is Mars red?” If you are an expert on Mar and you can’t answer that question you should quit your job. The I asked him “ Who are you.” I started getting mad when he couldn’t answer that question. I mean if you can’t answer that then you need to go to the hospital immediately to find out who you are. I mean you don’t even stop to put your shoes on, you just go. So because of Dr. Clueless I am suing the makers of the Martian website for the 10 minutes of my life back that I spent on him. I will then add the 10 minutes o my Minutes on Mars phone plan.

    The other game I liked was the natural disaster one. It was fun although it kind of made me sad at the end. I did the tsunami level and put it on expert and boy that was a mistake. I had never killed anybody before with regards to negligence. I thought I was doing well developing schools and almost getting to a hospital, but then the tsunami came. Sad part about it was that nobody lived. I mean zero people survived. I thought that like people would survive but no one. I will try this game again though and become a beast at it.

    Thank you Mrs. Cobb forgiving us another fun great blog.

  20. The first site I went to was the Stop disasters site. I choose to do the tsunami. I housed half the people because it said I housed them all but I actually didn’t. It was a terrible fail. Half of the people died and everyone else was injured. I installed break waters and hotels an houses and schools and hospitals but I still failed. I did it on easy. Even though I lost it was still a really fun game.

    The second website I viseted was the UMP Forest website. I never knew birds ate rocks. It turns out it helps them digest. The Willow Warbler builds an nest like an oven on the ground. The Chaffinch camoflauges its nest. Foxes build dens underground with many entrances. When people harvest the forest its really cool. A tracktor thing comes up with a chainsaw arm and cuts the tree down. Then it cuts the tree in to four pieces and moves on. I started this website at like 10:10 and right now it is like 10:45. Time went by really fast. I guess this was a really cool website.

  21. I thought that the two games I played were very enjoyable. I played the Disaster game and the Texas Independence Simulation game.

    The first game I played was the Disaster game. I liked how you were in control and made what necessary decisions you needed to do to protect your village. I decided to pick a hurricane as my disaster and I played on easy. My goals were to build a hostipal, a school, and to save the sea port. I completed most of my tasks, but the sea ports were destroyed. Twelve people died and over 170 people were injured. I was focusing on the houses and the people too much. I did not pay any attention to the sea ports. I learned very much from this game though. This was my favorite one to play.

    The second game I played was the Texas Independence Simulation. One of the best things I like about this was the graphics. I liked how the 3D effects made you feel like an actual citizen during the Texas Revolution. I was not able to get very far in this game, though. I rode my horse for a little, then it was time for dinner. This game did not appeal to me at all. After the game, I checked the website for some facts. I liked how every section was a movie, talking about how Texas became independent from Mexico.

    All of the games had good qualities, but I probably won’t ever play them again. Oh well!

  22. I thought all of these games sounded very interesting. But, I have to say that “Stop Disasters!” and “UMP Forest” sounded the most interesting to me. So, I decided to explore these two sides.

    First I explored the “UMP Forest” website. I learned so many things here that I didn’t know, especially about birds and other mammals. I never knew birds at rocks! It was very hard for me to believe that, but it says that it helps their digestion within their body. There are also many ways that I did not expect that an animal can camouflage itself. It is absolutely amazing! Thanks for putting this cite up!

    The Second site I explored was “Stop Disasters!”. I explored everything from the tsunamis to the forest fires. The tsunami one was pretty sad though. It kind of brought you down because you built and established this whole town, just to have it be destroyed. Everyone died too!! But, all in all, it was very fun.

    Thank you for putting more simulations up! I’m VERY excited for Seacamp! Thanks!

  23. I really liked all of the websites, but my two favorite websites were the “Stop the Disasters” and “The Texas Indipendence Simulation”.
    From the simulation “Stop the Disasters” I learned that no matter how badly you try to stop a hurricane, it will still make a bit of damage to the affected area.
    I built a lot of defense objects, and cement houses, but I still failed! About 96 people were injured, and 5 were killed in my simulation.
    I really liked this game because it was fun trying the different things to prevent damage, or just trying only to get minor damage. The thing that I really liked about the game was that there were different varieties of winning the game, and also another thing that I really liked was that once the probability was high enough so that a hurricane could strike, I had infinite money. I have no clue why, but I probably wasted the $50,000 you get at the beginning. After you waste all that money, they will probably give you infinite money, and that’s what I thought happened to me, or maybe I even had some money left, and I didn’t notice it.

    The “The Texas Indipendence simulation” was very good too. I liked it because it was very informational, and I learned lots of new stuff about the history of Texas Indipendence. I didn’t really go that far in this simulation, up until the part that I went to, it was very informative. I also watched the movie clip about Texas Indipendence. It talked a lot about who started the Texas Independence, and the history of it.
    I really liked the simulation a lot because you had to follow the different steps to reach your goal. The part where you were supposed to side a horse was fun, but for some reason the game got stuck, so I had to redo the simulation. I didn’t go any further after the part where you ask a person if he had seen your dad.
    I liked the movie too, because I liked how they explained the different things, with the map, and the pictures. It was easier to understand because the movie was well made, and all the pictures of the different people, and the different locations shown in the movie helped me understand it.

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