Middle School students attend Game Design Workshop at CCI

Is Game Design part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)?  Definitely! Most kids are playing games on a regular basis.

“Gaming is huge among kids and adults – whether is Madden, Minecraft or Farmville (played mostly by adults); gaming attracts kids and teaches coding, logic, and design skills,” said Prof Ebe Randeree.

To address this, students from the Leadership Course at the School of Library & Information Studies hosted a Game Design workshop for 48 participants on Saturday 3/30 from 10-4pm.  The workshop taught kids some basic things about logic, game design tools, designing a video game, and leaving with a created game.

Beyond the game, students learn the ability to identify, analyze, and solve a problem.  Open to middle school students, the course filled in 24 hours and there are enough people on the waiting list for 2 more workshops.  In addition, the FSU students will be hosting a “Coding 101” workshop in 2 weeks that has also filled up and has a waiting list.

According to Randeree, “There is definitely a demand for these workshops and for STEM related training.”

One of the student organizers and IT student, Nancy Moyers, said “Learning how to create games takes things to a whole new level for these kids. They will start to think about the games they play and how they work. This knowledge will carry over to problem solving, decision making, and their understanding of programming languages. At the same time, they are exercising their imaginations in a creative project that they can share with their friends.”

Another organizer, Lucas Heacock, said that “the event went really well – we had kids on various levels and everyone improved their knowledge.”  Lucas was the primary instructor for the event with fellow students, STARS Alliance members and other students helping to guide the participants.  There was one person assigned to each pod of of 4 participants.

Parent John Yearty was amazed at what the kids created in 1 day; he said “My son was so excited to learn how to create games. When I stopped by the workshop, all of the kids were having a great time learning how to design games. The FSU students were helping them with their own designs and you could really see the kids were totally focused and enjoying themselves.”  His son, John, agreed, “This was fun – I wish they taught this in school – I’m definitely going to keep doing this.”