Buck Institute for Education

Mazer Tag

Author: Rod Buenviaje

What will my students be doing?

In the Mazer Tag project, students will create and play a game in which the object is to maneuver a laser through a maze of obstacles to hit a target.

What's Included:

  • Project Overview
  • 8 Essential Elements of PBL
  • Sequence of the Project
  • Step-By-Step Teaching Guide
  • Student Handouts
  • Teacher Materials

Current Version: April 22, 2014

Anybody can aim a laser pointer to hit a target. But can you do it with an obstacle in your way? How about multiple obstacles?

In the Mazer Tag project, students will create and play a game in which the object is to maneuver a laser through a maze of obstacles to hit a target. To maneuver a laser, students will calculate the exact placement of multiple mirrors to reflect the beam of light through the game board. Challenges added throughout the game require students to understand and apply various geometric concepts.



Project Notes

  • Subjects: Math
  • Grade Level: 10th, 11th
  • Common Core Aligned
  • Time Required: 10-15 Hours
  • CC BY

Sponsored By

FAQs

Rod was inspired to do this project while working on the San Diego Bay Field Guide. His students were doing research along the bay and a student brought in a high intensity laser to help with taking measurements across a boat channel. He’s been wanting to use these lasers for a project ever since. Recently a student made a comment that he made his students reflect more than mirrors which sparked the idea for the project. Rod understands that not everybody has access to high powered lasers. So he wanted to create a project using a regular laser pointer. Part of what makes PBL so successful is that it provides cool ways for students to engage in the subject. And what could be cooler than lasers?

Student Work

Mazer Tag Explained
Watch Rod explain how Mazer Tag works.
The Board Set Up
The board is set up with one high intensity laser, two mirrors and two obstacles. view photo »
The Laser
The green laser is a bit more visible with the lights turned down. view photo »

Project Documents

Project Author

Rod is a proud member of the High Tech High learning community.  In 2000, he helped start the original High Tech High in Pt. Loma and is currently teaching 11th grade mathematics at the Chula Vista campus.  He earned a B.S. in mathematics from National University and a teaching credential through the HTH District intern program.  He has participated in the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation’s global classroom in Singapore and Brunei and has been awarded the Christa Mcauliffe Award by the NEA Foundation.  He continues to support new and developing teachers by serving as a mentor through the HTH intern program.  Rod is passionate about mathematics and is excited to be a part of an innovative teaching community.