Runaway Robot

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media
Duration: 40 minutes
Date Posted: 7/31/2023

Runaway Robot is an exciting new cross-curricular digital game for secondary classrooms from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Anchored in content from the museum’s exhibition Discovery and Revelation: Religion, Science and Making Sense of Things, this interactive game provides a fresh way of looking at histories of science and religion, while engaging students' curiosity, individual identities and experiences, and ideas about the world. 

Designed as a choose-your-own-adventure experience, the game challenges students to navigate a series of investigations using primary resources (museum artifacts) as key sources of information, as they develop their own answers to big questions like ‘what is our place in the universe?’ and ‘what do we owe to each other?’. This game provides a place for students to identify some of their own perceptions and biases when it comes to how they and others use religious and scientific belief to make sense of our world.  

This standards-aligned game can be used in secondary classrooms to support and deepen curricula. A corresponding worksheet is needed to meet the standards we list below. Please make sure your students know to look out for the yellow stars and numbers on certain pages of the game. Each star will correspond to a group of questions on the worksheet

The activity time can be adjusted depending on your goals and ways of using the game, with a general range of 20-40 minutes. Used as a quick warm up activity, this game can help prime students to be more open to discussion and new ways of thinking, before beginning a lesson on topics related to the history of religion and science. It can also be used as the central part of a lesson on civic engagement and learning to develop empathy and compassion for others, or to help students grapple with understanding that people often hold complicated opinions that are rarely black and white. Other educators may use this to build classroom culture, kick off a project-based learning experience, or use it to practice thoughtful reflection and metacognition.  

Instructional Strategies