Edugaming: Student-Teacher Collaborations to Strengthen the STEM Pipeline through Educational Game Development
This project builds on a previous ATE project which created four associate degree programs in Computer Game and Simulation Development with foci on game programming and digital arts. In this new project, the STEM education and workforce pipeline is strengthened in several ways. Workshops are being offered to train educators and pre-service teachers to design and develop tabletop educational game prototypes using an "Edugaming" framework to enhance STEM classroom education and student engagement. After the workshops these prototypes are then computerized through a collaboration of community college students in the Computer Game and Simulation Development major with the teachers from the workshops. This collaboration provides unique internship experiences for the students in which they hone their communication, teamwork, and project management skills. The final computerized games are played by K-12 students to strengthen their classroom learning. The players of the games are immersed in STEM concepts, encouraging further exploration of the topics and promoting interest in STEM careers. The community college student field experience through the student-teacher collaborations and the structured framework for developing educational games are models that are being disseminated through the project website, ATE centers, publications, and conferences to reach broader audiences. In addition, annual regional conferences are being held to bring together game industry representatives, STEM educators, and students to engage in conversations leading to the development of additional educational game curricula and learning experiences that increase the number of students entering STEM fields. The project's evaluation plan is assessing: how the project influences the community college and secondary students' career choices and their interest in STEM; the instructional effectiveness of the prototype board games and the associated computerized games that are developed; the path of community college students who graduate, tracking how many continue on to a bachelor degree program (and whether in STEM) and how many go directly into the workforce (and whether the jobs are STEM-related); and on the effectiveness of the regional conferences across all participants.