Friday, February 24, 2012

Game Design and Ecosystems - Part 3

First off, thanks go to Katya Hott for posting a link to my project on the Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog! I am glad for the exposure and I hope some of our ideas are useful to the many teachers who will see we are doing in this all girls science class.

After reading that blog post I was reminded of some important things:
  • I said I would give an update this week on our storyboard assignment. Unfortunately (sort of!) our school was closed today because of snow. It's the first time this winter, so it is a welcome surprise to have a day off...or at least a day where I'm not working at the school. The problem is I only saved the storyboard lesson and pictures on the school network. I will have to post those materials next week.
  • The girls started working on their games this week. There has been a lot of excitement at this stage of the project. I was amazed at how well they worked together and were engaged in the process. It is clear that working through the Quest on the Gamestar Mechanic site does a good job of teaching them how to use the application. It was great to see so many of them begin making and playing their first games with such enthusiasm.
  • Here is a copy of the Game Creation Checklist that I handed out. The girls are creating their games by referring to that checklist, their storyboards and their completed Game Flow Charts.
  • Most of the students are creating their games with the basic resources they earned through the Quest, but a few are working on additional Challenges so they can get certain sprites. I did require them to do the Impact Challenge because I wanted them to have the sign sprite so they can write science facts in their games.
  • Most importantly, I realized when I read Katya's post that I haven't mentioned my partner in this venture by name. Andrea Thelen is the middle school science teacher that helped create this project. I asked if I could do something with game design. She suggested the ecosystem tie-in and provided all the background information I needed to develop the project. This is the first long term project I have worked with in the science department in my district, so I have learned a lot from Andrea and I greatly appreciate her willingness to try something new.

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