In an educational initiative that breaks the conventional classroom boundaries, the University of Iowa is offering a unique course titled Pokemath. This class combines the elements of mathematics with the mechanics of the popular mobile game Pokémon Go, providing a new and engaging pathway for students to explore and appreciate mathematics.

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How It Started

Introduced in the spring semester and taught by Kitrick Fynaardt, Pokemath has quickly caught the attention of both students and educators. Fynaardt, who has been instructing the course for a year, highlights the unparalleled opportunity the game presents to integrate math learning.

”Finding a game that is both accessible and has that rich mathematical backdrop, we have not found any as good as ‘Pokémon Go,’” Fynaardt said.


Since its launch in 2016 on iOS and Android platforms, Pokémon Go has enjoyed immense global popularity, prompting players to explore their surroundings while capturing Pokémon. This engagement is not only a source of entertainment but, as the Pokemath course reveals, a substantial educational tool as well. The game involves elements of chance and necessitates the use of math for players to succeed, particularly when evaluating the attack, defense, and hit points stats of Pokémon.

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Getty Images

How Does This Game Relate To Math?

According to Fynaardt, many players are unaware of the mathematical computations behind these stats and how they interact. This revelation has piqued the curiosity of students, leading them to a deeper appreciation of mathematics, Students seem to really enjoy using Pokémon to motivate mathematics, and it drew them into the math of 'Pokémon Go.' but then also sent them out, and they started to see the math in other areas of their life, he said.

Another significant advantage of Pokémon Go is its accessibility. The game is free, can be played on most smartphones, and does not require extensive gaming skills or physical effort, making it an ideal tool for educational purposes.

“It includes some walking around,” Fynaardt said. “It’s not super intensive with like video gamey stuff and sort of technical ability, and its free was a huge one.”


a left-handed person solving math problem
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There Is A Waiting List To Get Into This Class

Despite its physically active components, the course does not necessitate considerable walking distances for students to gain the full learning experience. Due to its innovative approach and popularity, Pokemath currently has a waiting list for those wishing to enroll in the spring semester, underscoring the growing interest in integrating gaming and educational curriculums. This novel course not only encourages students to see mathematics in a new light but also challenges educational norms by integrating technology and gaming into the learning experience.

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