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If you’re looking for a new tool to teach math, check out Martian Math—a game developed collaboratively by two Western New York companies that are committed to K-12 education.

As the product manager for our education lineup, which includes the Atlas, it’s my job to be on the lookout for tools that parents and teachers can pair with the Atlas to help their students make the most of every learning opportunity.

When I met the team at Second Avenue Learning, I was impressed. We began working together to develop a game that would leverage augmented reality and some of the features of our Atlas laptop to help students in kindergarten through the 3rd grade learn math.


Meet the team behind Martian Math.

Second Avenue Learning is an award-winning education technology company based in Rochester, New York. They’re a leader in the development and design of games, software, and interactives. Among the games they’ve created: Martha Madison, which teaches middle school science students about the physical sciences; and Voters Ed, a great way for students to get a look at America’s political history and the presidential election process.

Their newest game, Martian Math, was designed to make learning math fun by using augmented reality. The team at Second Avenue Learning worked with K-12 students and teachers in Rochester at every step of the process, from development to playtesting, to ensure that the games are not only fun and engaging for students, but effective and useful for teachers.

To play the game, students point their Atlas’ camera at their desk (or any flat surface), where a small, virtual farm appears. As a Martian in a UFO flies overhead and tries to steal equipment and crops, students must solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations to break the UFO’s tractor beam.

Here’s how it works:

I asked Victoria Van Voorhis, the CEO at Second Avenue Learning, to tell me more about Martian Math and how it works with our Atlas 2-in-1 laptop. Here’s what she had to say:

By leveraging the unique camera system and touch screen on the Atlas and working collaboratively with the Bak USA team, we were able to create a useful tool that not only enables students to build math fluency in basic operations and but will also integrate seamlessly with existing curricula and standards. We’re excited about our partnership with Bak USA and the opportunity for students to play and explore augmented reality while improving their math skills.”

Here’s a firsthand look at how Martian Math works and how students and teachers can use it in the classroom.

Martian Math is in the final stages of development, and Second Avenue Learning is looking for play testers and teachers or schools who would like to pilot the program in their classrooms. If you’d like to be part of the process, let the team at Second Avenue Learning know and they’ll be in touch.



Games in the classroom can be game-changers.

I know what you might be thinking: That all sounds great, but do games really belong in the classroom?

As a former educator, I can say that the answer to that question is a confident “yes.” Play is one important way in which young learners interact with and learn about the world around them. Students will generally participate in a game with more enthusiasm than almost any other classroom activity.

Not only do games provide students with the context they need to understand concepts, games help students develop important skills like teamwork, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and persistence that will serve them for life. We’ve written before about how games can help students learn about respectful political discourse and showed you how games like Minecraft and Civilization can help students develop their social emotional skills.

martian math


Explore the Atlas and play Martian Math.

Next week, I’m heading to the Serious Play Conference with the team from Second Avenue Learning. You’ll find us at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, located at 955 Main Street in Buffalo, from July 17-19.

What’s the Serious Play Conference? It’s a conference where professionals who create and use games in education, healthcare, government, and other fields can discuss new ways for games to revolutionize learning and advance game-based educational programming.

I’m proud to join Victoria as a speaker during the conference. On Wednesday, July 18, between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m., you’ll find us in Room 1225A talking about augmented reality and learning tools for K-12 classrooms. Here’s how you can join us.

Stop by and see us at the Serious Play Conference and get a firsthand look at how Martian Math and our Atlas 2-in-1 laptop can help you keep your students engaged and take math class to a whole new level.

Can’t make it? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on the latest, and find our friends at Second Avenue Learning on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.