We spent a good part of the month of December, working on our science-based video game project. But yesterday was the first day I have had a real chance to chat with my classes about what I saw when I was assessing their projects and to give another overview of the STEM Video Game Challenge. My teaching colleagues and I have identified about 15 projects (out of more than 50 video games) that we think, with some revision and more work, might have a chance. We haven’t shut the door to the others but I wanted to encourage students whose games really did rise up above the others and reflect interesting game play and integrated science themes.
We had long conversations about STEM, and what it is, and why that is the push of this challenge. They were most interested in considering how science, technology, engineering and math are going to be much of the focus of the employment world when they head off into the marketplace (in 10 years or so).
So, they are now going to review their games (made on Gamestar Mechanic) and consider if they want take the next step. I have given them about four weeks to make their decision. This work will involve game revision; writing a short narrative overview of their game; and then going through the registration process, which I have promised to help walk them through.
My guess is that we might have 8 to 10 games that move forward before the March 12 deadline.
This is the first year we have done game design at our school (and probably in our entire school district), and this is the first year anyone from our school will enter the challenge, so I am hard-pressed to know how it will go. But, there was a lot of excitement as we talked about the competition and our games, and whether our work would stack up against other middle school game designers in the country.
I think they do stack up, and they will be very competitive as game designers.
Peace (in the STEM),