In the “Be The Game” program, high school students mentor peers and use game design as a tool for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The program’s high tech bus travels to locations where tech facilities are not available.
Click on the link to see the video made by the George Lucas Educational Foundation Edutopia which shows a dramatic alternative to traditional education.
The Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program was established by the National Science Foundation in direct response to the concern about shortages of information technology workers in the United States. The ITEST program funds projects that provide opportunities for both school-age children and teachers to build the skills and knowledge needed to advance their study and to function and contribute in a technologically rich society.
A project by guided by Dr. Kevin Clark of George Mason University, “Game Design Through Mentoring and Collaboration,” is a partnership with McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC and is designed to teach high school students video game design, and in turn, allow mentoring opportunities for these students to teach middle school students. The project incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) content, with and emphasis on career and educational paths.
The students also work with scientists and experts to design and build educational games that can be utilized by other students and teachers.
The program targets traditionally underrepresented students from the Washington, DC area with the vision of being a model for other distance learning efforts. The program introduces fundamental concepts of Information Technology (IT) as students develop human animation, multimedia authoring and rapid game prototyping using 3D tools.
This is a “hands-on” program with a strong emphasis on non-traditional approaches to learning and the intensive use of information technologies such as: web-based programming, GIS, architecture, database management, motion capture, LAN network management.
In 2009, the partnership expanded with the addition of Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, LLC (GAJCO). The company developed a 4-week leadership academy for prospective student mentors with a focus on leadership, mentoring, STEM careers and business etiquette.
In the summer of 2009, Be The Game, LLC and Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, LLC sponsored several Wii Learning Events for the DC Public School System’s Parent Family Resource Center and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. These program are scheduled to expand in 2010.
What Can You Do?
We want to duplicate this effort in cities around the country. We need funding to expand our efforts. If you can help with funding, networking, mentoring and/or volunteering, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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