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What it's about

The Big Bang Board Game is a card game designed to inspire young children to imagine themselves as scientists.

Our goal is to expose a young, diverse audience to cosmology, showing them that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is exciting and accessible.

In The Big Bang Board Game you will recruit a team of scientists to study the origins of the universe. Build your team, gather resources, and be the first to get your telescope to the South Pole. Who will be the first to uncover the secret of our origins?

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The ProjECT That Inspired The Game

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Image Credit: Jason Gallicchio

The Big Bang Board Game is inspired by CMB-S4!


The CMB-S4 Collaboration is a group of hundreds of scientists (a few of whom you can learn about here) who are building a variety of microwave telescopes to observe light from the big bang. The telescopes will be located at the South Pole and also high in the Chilean Andes. These sites are high and dry, which is important for microwave observations because water vapor, like the big bang, is a source of microwave light. 

CMB Telescopes 1.jpg

Image Credit: Brad Benson, University of Chicago, Fermilab

With 21 telescopes at the South Pole and in the Chilean Atacama desert surveying the sky with over 500,000 microwave detectors for 7 years, CMB-S4 will deliver exciting discoveries about the big bang and much more.




Thanks! Note that arrival of the PDF in your email account could take some time as we currently have no staff. If you have not received it within two weeks please email with the subject 'BBBG download request.' Thank you for your patience! 

Currently, we have a FREE print-and-play model for you to play at home! Enter your name and email below to receive your free PDF.

how to play
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Grant cards

Completing a grant earns you the telescope piece listed on the card!

If your research team meets the requirements on the card, you can use one action to complete the grant.

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Researcher cards

Your researchers make up your team and you can't build the telescope without them!

Each researcher's specialty is represented by the icon on the card.

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Event cards

Events change the game!

Play event cards to gain advantages or slow other players down. 

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Training Cards

Training cards grant your researcher additional specialties!

Each researcher may only hold one training card at a time. 

Card types


Setting up


Separate the cards into two decks: a grant deck containing only grant cards, and the main deck consisting of researcher, upgrade, and event cards. Shuffle both decks.


Take the top three cards from the grant deck and place them in a row, face-up, with the deck next to them. These are the available grants.


Deal five cards from the main deck to each player. The person to the left of the dealer starts and play continues to the left.

Playing the Game

During your turn, you can take up to 3 actions from the following (you can repeat actions within a turn):

  • Draw a card

  • Play a Researcher and place them in your play area

  • Play an Upgrade on one of your researchers

  • Play an Event in the center and follow the directions

  • Complete a Grant, gain a telescope piece, and replace it with the top card in the grant deck


Alternatively, you can use your entire turn to discard your hand and draw five cards. If you have more than seven cards at the end of your turn, discard until you have seven cards in your hand.

How to win

The first person to build their telescope wins!


Build your telescope by collecting all four telescope pieces:

  • Optics

  • Sensors

  • Data Processor

  • Foundation


ALTERNATE: For an easier game, collect any four telescope pieces!


How to play

Meet The Team

Hi! We are Dreams of the Beginning and The Big Bang Board Game is our first product. Our mission is to create fun ways to stimulate children to consider a career in science. We are grateful for support from the National Science Foundation.


Lloyd Knox


Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Executive Director


Sean McDowell


B.S Physics

B.A Design

Outreach and User Testing


Kim Hofmann


Design Undergraduate

Audience Coordinator

Web Designer


Kris Carlos


B.S Physics

B.A Theater & Dance

Artistic Director


Peregrine Roland


B.S Applied Physics

B.S Computer Science

Content Coordinator


Allan Alonzo-Ault


B.S Physics (Astrophysics)

Project Manager

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