Mission: Reinventing computer science in public schools by motivating & educating all students including women and underrepresented communities to learn about computer science through game design starting at the middle school level.
Results: The project aimed at instructing 1200 students in 3 years but exceeded expectations in the first semester of implementation. The project has turned into the largest study of middle school computer science education in the USA with over 10,000 subjects from Alaska to Texas; from East coast to West coast including some of the most diverse and toughest schools in the nation; 45% of the students were girls, 64% of the girls want to continue!
We are happy to announce that even though the Scalable Game Design project has come to an end, our work continues. SGD was incredibly successful and we are thrilled to announce that the Computational Thinking Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit will be able to take over and organize professional development workshops going forward. CTF will continue to take into account your terrific feedback and adapt the workshops to your evolving needs. You will see many of the same friendly faces and wonderful teachers that you already know and love, and we are working on exciting new classes and materials that we will be announcing soon!
St. Louis Summer Institute began on June 16, 2016, featuring 3D Online Game Design for Beginners. Students of all skill levels benefit from the use of computational thinking patterns - see what can SGD training do for your classroom today!
CU Summer Institute 2017 gave scholars the opportunity to choose professional development courses al-a-cart, with great success! You can read about this year's Summer Institute and start making plans to apply for training in 2018.
The goal of this project is to get computer science back to middle schools. Our strategy is to reform middle school IT education at a systemic level exploring the notion of scalable game design as an approach to carefully balance educational and motivational aspects of IT fluency.
Sokoban is a classic puzzle game created in 1980 by Hiroyuki Imabayashi and later published by Thinking Rabbit in 1982. This project is a good second game design activity for students who have already completed the Frogger tutorials.
Pac-Man is a classic arcade style game from 1980 developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the U.S. by Bally/Midway. This project is a good first game design activity for high school students with no programming background.
A computational thinking pattern (CTP) describes object actions or interactions that are common to a large set of applications including game design and computational science. In the Scalable Game Design curriculum, CTPs are used to make basic 1980 arcade style games such as Frogger and Pacman.
We conceptualize the learning of computational thinking as a spiral approach that starts with a few fundamental CTPs. Scalable Game Design begins with games for motivational reasons and then continues on to simulations.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DLR-0833612, IIP-0848962 and 1138526. The Scalable Game Design arcade is in part supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant 1R43OD012081. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health.