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Troubleshooting

Whyville has recently made chat and multi-player games work even in the presence of Internet firewalls. If you find yourself unable to chat or play multi-player games on Whyville, please email support@why-texas.com for help. You can also try adjusting your firewall in the following ways:
  1. If you have port 443 blocked, unblock it.
  2. If you have port 443 open, but only allowing traffic using the HTTPS protocol, adjust your firewall to allow any traffic on port 443.




FAQ

Teacher FAQs

Does a student have to be registered by the school as in my class to play under my promotion code?

  • Any student in your school may play under your promotion code. Each Whyville Texas Challenge class created can accommodate up to 35 students. Prizes will be awarded to the winning Whyville Texas Challenge class.

Can a student play more than one time?

  • A student may play as many times as they wish, either at school or independently. All of the clams they earn in Bioplex and PlaneWorks games during the competition period accumulate toward the class competition totals. In addition, the student can spend the clams in Whyville!

Can a student play under more than one competition code?

  • Generally speaking, students should compete for one class only. Students may enter a new competition code if they enter an initial code in error. Clams accumulate to classes every 24 hours, and all clams from a 24 hour period accumulate to the class the student is associated with at the end of the 24 hour period.

Are there any tricks to accumulating clams for the competition?

  • In life, one of the tricks to accumulating wealth is to show up every day and to do the work. This also applies in the Whyville Texas Challenge. Some of the games (eg. Make-A-Virus) earn the student 'salary' clams. That means that the next day and for every day thereafter that that they log in, they will automatically receive that many clams. So one of the strategies for building clams is to earn lots of salary clams, and then log in every day. (Games that earn salary clams will state that in the game instructions.)
  • Another strategy is to gain speed on the non-salary games, because those clams are credited to the account as they are earned.
  • Some activities earn a lot more clams than others, for example, being an airplane Baron builder earns more than being an assembler in WingFling.

These games are focused on biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. Are there other games they can work on?

  • Whyville.net is a complete educational virtual world with many math, science and interdisciplinary games. For the purposes of this competition, only the clams earned during the competition period in the Bioplex and PlaneWorks count toward the class totals.

Why should I make time in my class or homework assignments for this activity?

  • Let us count the reasons:
    • Activities in the Bioplex and PlaneWorks helps students relate their classroom studies with career possibilities. It makes the TEKS come alive!
    • The teacher can win valuable educational prizes.
    • It could help the state of Texas meet its goal of supplying the demand for these high-paying career opportunities.
    • It's fun what a great educational stress reliever during the TAKS aftermath!

Are only math, science and career teachers eligible to compete?

  • We encourage all teachers to become involved in their students' career explorations. Therefore, any teacher may participate.

I need more justification for using Whyville in my classroom for my principal, and ideas for using the activities in grading.

  • Many suggestions are included on the Why-Texas.com website under the "What do students learn" button. We become aware of new uses daily and welcome your feedback on what works and how you justified its use. Please contact us and we will be glad to help.

My district's computer policy restricts access to Whyville.net. Why and what can I do?

  • Some security programs are designed to block access to social sites. Because many of the games in Whyville are multi-player games and the players can chat to each other (after passing a test on the chat rules), some of the security programs automatically block Whyville. We are working with the designers of the security programs to eliminate this problem. In the meantime, if your district blocks entry into Whyville, contact the IT department and request that it be specifically released. You can also have the students play on their home computers.

Could the funny behavior I'm seeing on the website be due to firewall problems?

  • Whyville generally is not stopped by firewalls, but it is possible that some firewalls will cause these behaviors:
    • Excessively large avatar sizes
    • Inability to chat
    • Not seeing others in Whyville, even if they're present.
    • Inability to play the multiplayer games (nothing happens)
  • If you suspect a firewall problem, refer to the Troubleshooting section.


Student FAQs:

Can a student play more than one time?

  • A student may play as many times as they wish, either at school or independently. All of the clams they earn in Bioplex and PlaneWorks games during the competition period accumulate toward the class competition totals. In addition, the student can spend the clams in Whyville!

Can a student play under more than one competition code?

  • Generally speaking, students should compete for one class only. Students may enter a new competition code if they enter an initial code in error. Clams accumulate to classes every 24 hours, and all clams from a 24 hour period accumulate to the class the student is associated with at the end of the 24 hour period.

Are there any tricks to accumulating clams for the competition?

  • In life, one of the tricks to accumulating wealth is to show up every day and to do the work. This also applies in the Whyville Texas Challenge. Some of the games (eg. Make-A-Virus) earn the student 'salary' clams. That means that the next day and for every day thereafter that that they log in, they will automatically receive that many clams. So one of the strategies for building clams is to earn lots of salary clams, and then log in every day. (Games that earn salary clams will state that in the game instructions.)
  • Another strategy is to gain speed on the non-salary games, because those clams are credited to the account as they are earned.
  • Some activities earn a lot more clams than others, for example, being an airplane Baron builder earns more than being an assembler in WingFling.




Contact Us

Questions about Why-Texas, the Challenges, or Whyville:

By Mail:
  • 300 S Raymond Avenue #7, Pasadena, CA 91105
By Phone:
  • (626) 683-3129
By Fax:
  • (650) 227-2349
By Email: