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Naomi van Bentum (IAWA)


Elementaurs Boot Camp is an exciting new card game which provides entertainment and chemistry learning for all ages. The cards depict fantasy creatures devised to represent each of the first eighteen elements of the periodic table. They are similar to other game and collector cards but with meaningful details hidden amongst the great images and playful descriptions. As players battle to win the biggest team they are symbolically creating chemical compounds. The game is supported by a booklet which expands on the game possibilities and science.

The idea is to captivate childrens' hearts and minds with something that is going to be useful to them once they hit high school. Western Australia has never had so few science graduates and Naomi is hoping that the Elementaur creatures and their adventures will draw a few more students into the fascinating world of chemistry.

The cards have been received with much enthusiasm from students and teachers alike and have been endorsed by STAWA (the Science Teachers' Association of Western Australia) who see a place for them in the classroom from Year 6 to Year 10.

How to play - For simple grown ups

Each of these beautifully designed cards is named after a chemical element, and the players are dealt and then collect cards not in suits, but in pairs to make up chemical compounds.  For example, a player could make a Combat Combo (water (H2O) with a male Hy card (valency or 'vibe' +1), a 2x multiplier card and one female Oxy card ('vibes' = -2), so that the 'vibes' are balanced (2 x +1 =2) and (1 x -2 = -2).  

The game is aimed at children in the 8 to 12 year range and will give them a grounding in chemistry that is a cross between fun and fantasy, making understanding and learning chemistry at school a breeze.

How to play - For the imaginative Y generation

Just check out this cool website

About the inventor

Mum-of-four, Naomi van Bentum, appreciated that her children would get passionate about certain toys but was frustrated with the amount of brain space they focussed on completely useless information. She began working on the cards and the concept in 2006 and released the game in the second half of 2009.

Naomi works part time as a physiotherapist and is due to release the first of the Elementaurs novels in the second half of 2011. This should widen the appeal of the characters and the game as it draws readers into the excitement of an adventure quest with a potentially explosive outcome.

The challenges of negotiating the worlds of design, printing, marketing, science education, IP law, and business have been a rollercoaster of highs and lows and Naomi would encourage inventors to celebrate the successes along the way, to stick with it and to enjoy the ride.

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