Derek Lyons



Questimate! (2013)

Questimate is a game of numerical whimsy and quantitative curiosity. How many platypuses would be as heavy as a school bus? How long would it take a loris to walk across Manhattan? Using a database of thousands of objects, animals, places, and measurements, Questimate lets players build fantastical questions like these and then test their best guesses against the real calculated answers. Themed quests with subjects like animals, history and speed allow players to explore subjects in depth, either on their own or with friends using network multiplayer. Arguably Motion Math's most creative and ambitious game to date, Questimate is a playful learning experience that we're very proud of.


Motion Math hits another home run with its new app Questimate... Awesome for developing and fostering curiosity.

–Katherine Page Burdick, Mobile iEducator


Wings (2012)

Wings is a simple and catchy arcade style game inspired by classic overhead scrollers like 1943. Players take on the role of a feathered protagonist, flapping and soaring their way across an island archipelago in search of feathers and twigs for building a nest. Standing (floating?) in the way, however, are waves of clouds that represent pairs of multiplication problems in a variety of different forms. To make progress, players must use quick multiplication and estimation skills to steer their bird towards the problem in each pair with a larger product. Wings scales its challenge from purely visual representations of multiplication in early levels (grids and clusters of dots) to rapid-fire symbolic arithmetic later in the game. The gradual progression helps players to learn without rote memorization, guiding them instead towards a strong and flexible conceptual understanding of multiplication.


Motion Math Wings is a beautiful app that shows what other math apps should be: a great way to introduce your learner to different ways of thinking about and looking at numbers, until your child inherently understands how multiplication works.

–Barbara Chamberlin, Parents' Choice


Karunatree (2011)

Karunatree is an open-source virtual geocaching game that I created with the goal of encouraging children's environmental literacy. The game is organized around a dribbble-like gallery concept, where players upload and share multimedia art projects ("seedlings") designed to spread awareness about particular environmental themes. The twist is that players use a Google Earth interface to "plant,"or geotag, their seedlings in relevant real-world locations. For example, a player might plant a seedling depicting the effects of rainforest depletion at the location of a cosmetics store in their city that sells products made with rainforest palm oil. Other players can then expand their environmental knowledge by discovering these seedlings in places relevant to their own lives and interests.

Karunatree was developed with support from the National Science Foundation's Human-Centered Computing program, and recognized by the Startl Foundation as one of ten innovative educational technology projects selected for their 2010 Design Boost program. Special thanks are due to the talented teachers, artists, and developers who worked with me to bring Karunatree to life, including Raminder Goraya, Jennifer Long, Jason Lu, Cathy Tran, Caroline Wagenaar, and Girls, Inc. of Orange County, CA.