Tech Pursuit

For the last several months, I’ve been working with some kids at Scarlett Middle School here in Ann Arbor, teaching them about electronics and amateur radio. For a number of reasons—that I won’t go into just yet—I haven’t been as successful as I was hoping to be.

Dismayed by my lack of success, I went to talk to a friend of mine, who had been a school librarian. After listening to my tale of woe, she offered this advice, “Can you make a game out of it somehow”? That struck a chord because one of the kids is mesmerized by computer games.

To be honest, I’m not big on games myself. My wife and I have a modest selection, including Monopoly and Scrabble. In the past, however, we did play a fair amount of Trivial Pursuit. Thinking about this a bit, it hit me that I could use the board and game pieces from Trivial Pursuit for a new game I’m calling Tech Pursuit.

In Trivial Pursuit, there are six categories, each corresponding to a color: brown, pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Players throw a die and move around a board, landing on spaces of one color or another. An opposing player then pulls a card from the question card deck and asks a question from the appropriate category.

In Trivial Pursuit, each card has six questions, one from each category. In Tech Pursuit, however, each question card has only one question. This is necessary because the Tech exam questions are multiple-choice.

Another difference between Trivial Pursuit and Tech Pursuit is the number of categories. Because there are ten categories in the Tech question pool, I had to assign questions from two categories to a particular color. For example, in Tech Pursuit, questions from category 3 and 4 are the “green” questions.

Since there are only ten categories, I’ve only assigned five colors. Brown is unassigned and becomes a “wild card.” If a player lands on a brown space, he or she can choose a question from any category.

Other than the differences in the cards and categories, Tech Pursuit is played just like Trivial Pursuit.

Making the Cards
Making the cards was a lot of work, since each question has to be on its own card. I chose to make the cards 2.5-in. high by 3.25-in. wide. I cut and pasted each of the questions in the question pool to a word-processing template that I set up for this. Six questions fit on a 8.5 x 11-in. page.

Then, I printed the page onto card stock and then used a paper cutter to separate the individual cards. Finally, because I had only one color of card stock, I used markers of different colors to give each a color dot denoting the category.

This was a lot of work. If I had to do it over again, I’d try to find card stock that’s perforated, so that once you’ve printed the card, all you have to do is tear them apart.

At least you won’t have to cut and paste from the question pool like I did. Here is a zip file that contains all of the pages—there are 68 in all.

The kids played this game yesterday for the first time, and it was a big success. I think it would be a success with adults and mixed groups, too. I hope that if you’re teaching a Tech class that you might give it a try.

Comments

  1. John VK6JB says:

    Many thanks for your zip file.
    I will give it a try at our local school and if i remember (with everything that happens arround here) i will let you know.
    If you have any other material you can share, i would appreciate it.
    I am a H/H myself but still try to help the youngens.
    JohnB

  2. Joe, KD8CEH says:

    I do have a suggestion: use precut business card blanks. You can get them at Office Depot et. al.

    I’ve been using them to prototype a card game, and they work pretty well.

  3. Dan KB6NU says:

    I thought about that, but the problem is that the questions are multiple choice, and some of the questions and answers are quite long. To make them fit on a business card, the type would have to be very tiny.

  4. KA3ZAG The quiz questions could be put in a powerpoint presentation that could add sound, color, and movement to the questions. You have a great idea.

    73 John Mutch

  5. Bob Jones says:

    I downloaded the zip file twice and each time I got a message when I tried to unzip it that “The file is damaged or Corrupted”

  6. Dan Musgrave, WD8RMG says:

    Dan,

    Thanks for a great idea!! I’m the adviser for the N5MMI club at the New Mexico military Institute and our cadets don’t have lots of time for studying for the exam….they are studying lots of things and the addition of studying for the exam is a bit of a burden…. The game will help to make it fun.
    Thanks

  7. Dan KB6NU says:

    Bob, I just double-checked and the file appears to be OK. E-mail me at cwgeek@kb6nu.com, and I’ll try to e-mail them to you……73, Dan

  8. Just downloaded your Tech Persuit and will try to have it ready for my monthly tech class in July. I had been trying for 8 years to offer a technical class in this area (N.E. Georgia, Hiawassee, Towns Co.), but could not find any interest. Seems all today’s potential new hams (youngsters) are not interested. By “spoon feeding” my 10 year old grandson, he did get his ticket at age 10. But I’m always on the lookout for better teaching aids. However, thanks to the local Red Cross who provided us with funds, a meeting place, and labor (putting up towers and a Repeater), I did manage to teach a class “the hard way”, and did manage to graduate 8 new hams, with two more joining since.

    I have a website (under construction), where I hope to make kits and technical material (hard copy, CDs, and DVDs) available for electronics instruction – following the pattern (but on a smaller scale) of HeathKit, where I was previously employed during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Alton Higgins, W4VFZ.

  9. Dan KB6NU says:

    Good luck with the class, Alton. We are having some success with the one-day Tech class format (http://kb6nu.com/second-one-day-tech-class-a-success/). The trick, of course, is to then get them to really learn about ham radio by getting them to come to meetings, participate in operating events, upgrade to General, etc. Please keep us informed about how you fare with the class and about your website.

  10. Greg Wilburn says:

    You might try loading these to Flashcardexchange.com. Great site…

  11. Dan KB6NU says:

    That is an interesting site. Perhaps when they upgrade the question pool, and I have to upgrade the cards.

  12. Eugenie KJ6VAD says:

    Great idea to make it a Trivial Pursuit game. I’ll print out question & answer on labels (1 x 2), then stick them on colored index cards.
    Thanks for the idea.

    • Dan KB6NU says:

      Hi, Eugenie–

      Make sure that you use the new question pool. Since I first did this, they updated the question pool, but I never updated my cardset.

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