Platform: iPad only, iOS 6.0 or later
Cost: Free download/ optional paid upgrades
How many flamingos are as tall as a dinosaur? How many 2×4 Lego bricks are as long as a yoga mat? These amusing questions are sure to pique teen interest and engage some math skills. With Questimate! you make the questions. Choose from such options as: “how long…” or “how tall…,” paired with animals or household objects, or test your historical estimation skills by creating questions with “in what year…” You can play solo, or challenge a friend. If you are baffled by an answer, you can tap the “Really?” button for details.
Questimate! creator, Motion Math has great ideas about making math more accessible by encouraging students to overcome challenges and adopt a growth mindset. Questimate! does encourage flexible thinking with its adjustable sliding scales and pinch-and-pull resizing comparisons. It also offers more information about the actual sizes of the things its questions compare, including pictures, measurements and equations.
But, ultimately, I found that the app, at least the initial free download version, had some limitations. In the free version of the game, options for making questions are pretty limited and it is time-consuming to unlock additional quests without paying for them. If you’ve had an opportunity to play some of the later quests, let us know how they are in the comments.
Specifics are lacking when it comes to estimating. How are we stacking these loaves of bread? Vertically or horizontally? What kind of goat? It could be a pygmy goat or a larger variety.
Apps that are only for iPad limit access to teens who might have an iPhone or iPod or a different brand of device entirely. I think Questimate! could take advantage of a the portable trivia opportunities a pocket-sized device would offer.
Questimate! presents an interesting model for thinking about math more loosely. It is certainly one to watch for updates and the additional content which Motion Math says is coming soon. Teens will enjoy the agency of creating questions and the humor in the pairings. They also might get a good laugh, as I did, by messing around with the pinch-and-pull comparisons.