As part of its educational mission, the Space Science Institute has developed Starchitect, a free astronomy education game that explores stellar and planetary evolution. Build stars and planets, then watch as they evolve in scaled real time (a million years to the minute). You can even evolve life if you're careful. Play on Facebook to view friends' systems and post photos of your systems to your wall, or play outside of Facebook and get a whole classroom involved.
Starchitect can be used as supplement to astronomy units in classes from middle school through introductory astronomy at the university level.
(note: Starchitect doesn't currently work
on phones and tablets: sorry about that.)
Or check out what other people have built, and vote on their results, with Stellar or Cellar
Want more fun and educational games?
for free online science games about asteroids, comets, Mars, space weather, the sun, astrobiology, and more!
Starchitect is supported by the National Science Foundation (grant #1010624) and NASA (grant #NNX11AI26G), with earlier work supported by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the National Science Foundation (NSF).