Pleasant View Middle School
1. x Pleasant View Middle School
2. 23600 Everett Road Pueblo, CO 81006
3. 719 568-2880
4. Science and Technology Teacher
5. I am ending the first quarter of a semester long scalable game design course for 8th grade students. So far this semester students have completed and submitted the following games: Frogger, Space Invaders, and Sokoban. They are currently creating a Pacman game. As each game was introduced the class discussed which agents needed to be created and the role these agents would play in the game. At the beginning of each class period the class would review the previous day’s work and we would think through the programming of the next steps together utilizing the Promethean board in the lab. I would challenge students to utilize knowledge they had from previous games to program as much of the new game as they could without help. Now that students are creating Pacman I am introducing the programming for skill of hill climbing but challenging the students to build the rest of the game on their own. I have been surprised to see how much students have enjoyed the artistic design process of game design. Many of them take each game and create a theme for the game, designing their agents around the theme. I have a wide variety of students who respond to the class in different ways. Some take the skills I present and build upon them, trying to take their games further. Other students have a hard time understanding basic programming. Having to make Pacman work with little help from me is making students start to think at a deeper level and not give up as easily when something doesn’t work.
6. I am currently teaching 2 classes with 14 students in each class. Of the 28 students 22 decided to participate in the SGD project. 7. Pleasant View is a rural school of app. 355 students. My game design class is 86% male.
9. Student feedback:
“I’ve learned I’m a lot more artistic than I thought I was.”
“I’m more appreciative of game designers. It is hard work and you need good thinking skills to know what’s going on.”
“The art part is fun. You can make your game perfect by adding tiny details.”
“There is a lot more thinking that goes into game design than I thought and we’re only building simple games.”
“I like playing the game after your done and the satisfaction of making a working game.”
“It is rare that you can walk into a classroom and see 28 middle school students completely engaged in an activity in which they have to use higher order thinking skills to solve a problem. That is exactly what the Scalable Game Design class has done for the 8th graders at Pleasant View Middle School. We have students that I never would have guessed would be such ardent problem solvers, helping others dig through their programming to debug. This is an excellent way to get kids excited about IT and STEM fields.” Ted Shepard Principal Pleasant View Middle School
Report submitted by Candice Musso Teacher Pleasant View Middle School