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Lost at the Forever Mine

Use math and scientific modeling to escape an abandoned planet.


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Lost at the Forever Mine

In this Math Drama, you are a scientist who just crash-landed on an abandoned mining planet. With your oxygen dwindling, you must use mathematical models to predict how you can get enough fuel to escape before time runs out.

At a Glance

  • Subject: Scientific Modeling
  • Grades: 5-9
  • Playtime: 25-35 minutes
  • Play from a web browser—no logins or downloads required
  • Free to play

About the Game

You are a material scientist who just crash-landed on an abandoned mining planet. You’re out of fuel, and your suit’s oxygen is running low. You need to mine enough fuel to power your ship, or you won’t survive.

You stumble into the old mining facility. That’s where you meet MAL, the mine’s Artificial Intelligence, who is thrilled to have someone to talk to. With MAL’s help, you’ll build scientific models to predict if you’re mining fast enough and what you need to do next.

Each level puts the student in the role of the scientific modeler. Students will set up equations, work with graphs, input data, and use models to make predictions. Along the way, as obstacles keep popping up, students will experience how models are used as a tool to make decisions.

Note: For best compatibility, use Chrome

Teach with Lost at the Forever Mine

View the Teaching Guide

Use Lost at the Forever Mine to introduce units on graphing or scientific modeling. The game was designed to help kids experience the need for math to make predictions. This story-based game gives a context to why graphing, math equations, and collecting data can help us solve problems.

Try introducing a unit with this game. Let the kids figure out how the game works with little introduction. Remember, struggling to figure it out is part of the process. Games are safe places for struggle and failure to become part of the fun.

Learning Objectives

  • Models are tools for scientific inquiry that allow us to describe and predict complex phenomena
  • Models must first fit known data before they are useful as prediction tools
  • Models must be evaluated and refined

Teaching Standards

Developing and using models is one of the eight cross-cutting science and engineering practices in the NGSS Framework

From the NGSS Framework: “Developing and Using Models. A practice of both science and engineering is to use and construct models as helpful tools for representing ideas and explanations. These tools include diagrams, drawings, physical replicas, mathematical representations, analogies, and computer simulations.”

This game is designed as an introduction to mathematical models and their utility in describing and predicting phenomena.

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

This standard is met in the game by having the player iteratively improve the mining process such that an optimal design can be achieved and the player survives.


  • Material Research Science & Engineering Center
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Production Team

Executive Producer

  • Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel


  • David Gagnon

Education Fellows Director

  • Jim Mathews

Creative Director

  • Sarah Gagnon

Software Development

  • Philip Dougherty

Graphic Design and User Interface

  • Eric Lang

Art & Animation

  • Reyna Groff
  • Eric Lang
  • Rodney Lambright II


  • Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel
  • Matthew Stilwell
  • David Gagnon

Content Consultants

  • Wendy Crone
  • Amanda Smith
  • Eli Towle
  • Benjamin Afflerbach
  • Tesia Janicki
  • Marc Brousseau
  • Noah Edelstein
  • Sarah Sprangers
  • MRSEC faculty, graduate students, and staff


  • Lindy Biller
  • Sarah Gagnon
  • Eric Lang
  • Philip Dougherty

Original Music & Sound

  • Cyril Peck

Administration Support

  • Angel Cartagena
  • Adam Chase
  • Ahna Holliday
  • Becki Kohl
  • Jim Lyne

Testing and Design Feedback

  • Joe Rieder and the students of Wisconsin Rapids Public School
  • Olivia Dachel and the students of Merril High School
  • Jenny Karpelenia and the students of Bartles Middle School
  • Marsella Aguila and the students of Waterford Graded School District


  • NSF through the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (DMR-1720415)
  • Wisconsin Center for Education Research
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Source Code

Lost at the Forever Mine is an open-source project licensed under the MIT license and is available at