11 September 2011

SCI-DAMA: As Teaching Strategy in Science?

by: J. Policarpio

What's SciDama?

With the objective to promote academic excellence and get the students interested in Science, the Department of Education (DepEd) has come up with an indoor table game that will now become a national contest - the SciDama.

SciDama is a board game somewhat similar to "Checkers" of Americans. It is patterned to a Filipino Checkers commonly known as "Dama" and "Perdigana" and integrated with Mathematical Operations such as Multiplication, Division, Addition & Subtraction  (or MDAS) and Science Concepts. Thus the name, "SciDama" is a combination of Sci (for Science) and Dama (for Dama, ma for Math). SciDama (as well as eDamath) was invented by1981 Presidential Gold Medallion Awardee, Juan L. Huenda.

There are 4 Variations of SciDama for High School

Target Learners: First Year Students
Science Concept: Electric Power Consumption

Target Learners: Second Year Students
Science Concept: Scientific Notation

Target Learners: Third Year Students
Science Concept: Temperature Humidity Index

Target Learners: Fourth Year Students
Science Concept: Thermodynamics (Heat)

General Rules in Playing SciDama
            Basically the rules in playing the Filipino checkerboard game called ‘dama’ will be used with some modifications in integrating mathematics and science as follows:

1.      Set the starting positions of the chips
2.      After the startting position of the chips have been set, the first player is  determined by drawing lots.
3.      A chip is allowed to moved diagonally forward only to an adjoining vacant square.
4.      A chip has to take the opponent’s chip diagonally forward or backward thus “pass” is not allowed. Mathematical operations (x,÷,+,-)  will be used depending on the vacant square’s operation symbol where the “taker” chip lands by jumping over the “taken” chip (the latter chip has to be removed from the board after performing the indicated mathematical operation and recording same in the score sheet).
5.      In taking more than one chip, the “taker” chip is always the addend, minuend, multiplicand, or dividend as the case may be.
6.      In taking a chip or more than one chip,the dama rules on ‘dama’,’mayor dalawa or mayor tatlo’,’mayor tatlo over dalawa’,and ‘mayor dalawa or tatlo’,over ‘dama’ prevail.
7.      A chip is declared ‘dama’ upon reaching terminally on the following designated squares:
For Red chips:                         (0,7)  (2,7)  (4,7)  (6,7)
For Blue chips:                         (1,0)  (3,0)  (5,0)  (7,0)
8.      A ‘dama’ chip is allowed to take a chip or more than one chip,or move to any unoccupied square along its diagonal path.Moreover, a dama’s score is doubled in taking a chip or chips,and quadrapled if it takes the opponent’s dama chip.Similarly, an ordinary chip’s score is doubled if it takes a dama chip.
9.      A ‘move’ (e.g. 2→ (6,3) is good only at the most for one minute including its corresponding entries in the score sheet; while the game’s duration is twenty (20) minutes.
10.  The game ends when any of the following situations occur:
·         If no show of one player is declared after ten minutes.

·         Repetitive moves of any or both players

·         A player resigns

·         A player’s chip is cornered

·         A player has no more chip to move

·         The 20 minute game duration ended

11.  The remaining chips have to be added to the respective players’ total score.
12.  The player with a lesser total score is declared winner for which he/she is entitled to one point in the tally sheet of contestants or (0.5) in case of a draw.
13.  Only one score sheet is allowed to be accomplished alternately by the two players whereby incorrect entries in the score sheet,shall be their responsibility.
In case of incorrect entries in the score sheet,a player has to call the attention of the competition facilitator by raising one’s hand, that is, after stopping the time. As determined by the said arbiter/facilitator,the appropriate corrections will be done by the erring player in as much as the formers decision is final and unappeasable.

Huenda, J. L. SciDama Inventor.
Cudis, N. R., Sun Star. Checkers used as science teaching strategy.
DepEd Memo No. 465. s. 2009. Juan Day Math Storytelling at the Library Hub. from, deped.gov.ph/cpanel/uploads/issuanceImg/DM%20No.%20465,%20s.%202009.pdf


  1. thanks for the info about scidama. it helps me a lot. but i noticed that there is no info about how to score..can u add it so we can learn more. thanks again..

  2. Thank you po... i'll try to consider your suggestion in the near future.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Thanks... i salute you sir!!!

  4. congratulations...

  5. thanks for the strategies sir....

  6. thank you but do you have a tricks so that you can win on a sci dama tournament

  7. sa square na may coordinates na (4,3) or (3,4) un ang strong opening moves sa sci-dama...just like chess, checkers and d like...its a game for space and control of the center of the board...

  8. i have went up to palawan beacause of sci dama...I want to learn more thing about it the most bloody attacks

    1. @ser princeorion., ser gusto kong matuto ng moves sa sci dama ., ako po kasi ang representative sa school namin at gusto kong matuto,. help nio po ako ng mga kakaibang mga moves sa thermo sci dama.,

  9. hi good afternoon.. may tanong lang po ako, for example po, dalawa yung capture ng chips ko. tapos nung first capture niya, umabot na yung chip sa tile kung saan magiging dama na ito. kapag ika.capture na yung ikalawang chip, dama na po ba chip ko? o hindi pa?

  10. hi good afternoon.. may tanong lang po ako, for example po, dalawa yung capture ng chips ko. tapos nung first capture niya, umabot na yung chip sa tile kung saan magiging dama na ito. kapag ika.capture na yung ikalawang chip, dama na po ba chip ko? o hindi pa?

  11. congratulations to all Sci-dama players
    keep it up!