How would you have arranged a radar array to protect London during the Blitz? How do you lower a drawbridge without crashing it, using only medieval technology? How can you build a pyramid out of massive stones using only sand, clay, and ropes? And how do you inveigle kids, 7 to 17, into tackling such questions?
Game designer Ray Shingler has solved all those puzzles with Time Engineers , a video game in which players ride a magnetic egg back in time to three eras. In each, players solve two engineering problems. As would-be electrical engineers, they create radar arrays; as mechanical engineers, they design a diesel submarine; and as civil engineers they build those drawbridges and pyramids.
US $19.95; Software Kids, Valparaiso, Ind.; http://www.timeengineers.com