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Open-Ended world builder game

Designed for Kids 6-12, created with Teachers

Experiential Learning with 150+ Elements

Over 50 lessons in Earth and Lab Sciences, Electronics, Circuits, Pixel Art, Biology and Music


Teachers/Parents Quotes

"Working with Pixowl to help bring The Sandbox into classrooms was an no-brainer for us. At TeachThought, we're addicted to rethinking things--in this case, re-imagining learning in a modern context. This includes learning through play, mobile learning, and self-directed learning--all ideas central to The Sandbox." 

Terry Heick,

"At Amplify we believe that student engagement is key to learning. The Sandbox is one of those fun and super engaging games that gets kids of all ages excited about important skills like design thinking and problem solving" 

Sam Levine,



The Sandbox EDU is a remix of the popular game, The Sandbox, played by over 12 million people worldwide. Game levels support experiential learning of science, art, and music!

The Sandbox EDU is the perfect educational game for the “Maker” in you and your child. You can build - whatever you want - and learn to conduct scientific investigations and engineering design through inquiry-based problem solving in an open-ended world grounded by the laws of the universe.



  1. Easy to install on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Full Featured version with no additional in-app purchases or advertisements
  3. 50+ lessons in Earth science, lab science, electronic circuits, pixel art and music
  4. Lessons designed with classroom teachers
  5. Save and share your work in the online gallery
  6. Explore 150+ elements in the open-ended CREATE mode



The Sandbox EDU can be used to support learning the following subjects: Environmental Science, Physics, Geology, Biology, Engineering, Mathematics, Pixel Art, Music, and Game Design.

The Sandbox promotes experiential learning, which is the process of making meaning from direct experience. Elemental interactions in the game serve as a foundation to enhance player understanding of the physical world.

Some of the many reinforced concepts include:

  • Functions
    • Relationships between elements
    • Inputs and outputs for elementary reactions
    • Input/output machines
  • Chemistry experiments
    • States of matter: steam, water, ice
    • Water pollution: acid + water
  • Elemental reactions: climate change, pollution
  • Automated factories and clever contraptions with conveyor belts, lasers with many effects, pipes to move liquids, and led indicators.
  • Art projects
    • Pixel Art using 11 types of colored gems
    • Music using 5 different instruments: Piano, Guitar, Drums, Trumpet, Bass
    • Amazing light shows: with leds, metal and electrons, bright and bulbs, sensors that pulsate, and gamewall that changes colors.
  • Functional electronics projects with wireworld compliant rules (
    • Gates: and, or, xor, not, and more
    • More complex circuits: diodes, counters and memory
  • Probability/Random machines
  • Batteries — and battery chargers
  • Oil Lamps & Refineries
  • Operational Ecosystems: predator/prey relationships, habitats
  • Natural Phenomena: The Water Cycle, Volcanoes and the Weather system.
  • Heat exchange: Heating and cooling elements





The open-ended nature of the game is reflected in the title. The Sandbox enables casual play and experimentation with advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) concepts. It is a learning simulator as much as it is a world-building game that rewards critical thinking, problem-solving, and risk-taking through self-directed exploration.



The Sandbox is a game that allows students to directly interact with STEAM concepts by solving problems, responding to scenarios, constructing or deconstructing environments, creating art, designing machines, tinkering with the elements, creating condensation & evaporation, and anything else you can image a digital sandbox of elements and tools would let you do.

Here are a few ideas to implement The Sandbox EDU in your classroom:

- Interactive modeling of dynamic real-world systems
- A medium for creative projects to demonstrate concepts
- Save and share work to encourage a community of makers
The Sandbox is a pioneer in the Constructivist approach of learning through mobile gaming!

Recommended Ages: 6-12, parents



Constructivism, as perspective in education, is based on experiential learning through real life experience to construct and conditionalize knowledge. It is problem-based, adaptive learning that challenges faulty schema, integrates new knowledge with existing knowledge, and allows for creation of original work or innovative procedures. The types of learners are self-directed, creative, innovative, drawing upon visual/spatial, musical/rhythmic, bodily kinesthetic, verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences.

The purpose in education is to become creative and innovative through analysis, conceptualizations, and synthesis of prior experience to create new knowledge. The educator’s role is to mentor the learner during heuristic problem solving of ill-defined problems by enabling quested learning.

The learning goal is the highest order of learning: heuristic problem solving, metacognitive knowledge, creativity, and originality that may modify existing knowledge and allow for creation of new knowledge.



May 30th, 2014: Accelerated: Pixowl’s Early Work in the Co.lab Accelerator
May 12th, 2014: Pixowl leverages the popularity of the building game with educators
April 22nd, 2014: Educational games are competing with Angry Birds says co.lab director
March 4th, 2014: NewSchools and EdTech Accelerator Announces Second Cohort of Innovative Learning Game Developers
March 3rd, 2014: Pop17 teams up with Pixowl Games!



Pop 17Co.lab is the edtech accelerator created by and NewSchools Venture Fund focused on developing innovative learning games. Pixowl is part of the second cohort of companies for its four-month program. co.lab empowers startups leveraging the power of digital games to build transformative educational technologies for PK-12 students and teachers.

PlayMobPlaymob is partnering with Pixowl to raise money through in-game fundraisers connected to in-game content sales for educational, STEM or Ecology related establishments, foundations, charities and clubs.

Pop 17Pixowl is partnering with Pop17, Sarah Austin company, to teach to underprivileged kids classes from San Francisco's YMCA, around using The Sandbox to educate them about game development and game design.

AmplifyPixowl partners with Amplify to develop an optimized version of The Sandbox for the Amplify Tablet - the only tablet designed for K-12 education.

TeachThoughtPixowl works very closely with TeachThought to develop his The Sandbox Education program across K-12 classrooms throughout the United States. TeachThought, LLC is a progressive learning brand dedicated to supporting educators in evolving learning for a 21st century audience.



We would like to thank here all the different individuals who are regularly contributing to The Sandbox Education project:

Jose Guerra PradoJosé Guerra Prado
"I´ve been working as Teacher in Project, Communication, Design and IT in High School, making new Projects that include New Technologies in Education. Nowadays I´m running a Project including Videogames in class, and a Documentary Videoblog called Cultura y Sociedad ( In April 2013, I was invited by Secretaria de Cultura de la Nación, to teach some techniques about using The Sandbox in class, in Argentina Cultural Industry Market (MICA –"
Terry HeickTerry Heick
Terry is an experienced classroom teacher and current Director at TeachThought. He writes about education, partners with institutions on school and curriculum design, and blogs incessantly because he knows for a fact that learning can be better.
Adrian NovellAdrian Novell
"I´m an argentinean game designer with a bachelor degree in Multimedia Technology and a thesis about "How to teach history with video games". I´m passionate about the educational potential of videogames and looking forward to know more and more about it."



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