There are numerous approaches to help students enhance their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills, and research suggests that game-based learning might be a useful tool for retaining information.
Building student competencies in STEM.
Students must create their own video game from scratch using coding, design, and literacy skills as part of the STEM Video Game Challenge. Additionally crucial are abilities like creativity and problem-solving.
Students that enter the challenge as a team are urged to designate responsibilities like a tester, storyteller/scriptwriter, artist, audio designer, programmer, and audio designer.
The game’s programmer takes the lead in writing any necessary code, while the artist concentrates on the graphic design elements, the audio designer is in charge of the game’s audio components, the storyteller/script writer develops the game’s plot, and the tester is responsible for testing the game for bugs.
Participants must register with an adult mentor, usually a teacher, in order to participate. Throughout the challenge, mentors are in charge of keeping the team on task.
Ben Wynne, a Year 6 teacher from St Anthony’s School in Wanneroo, Western Australia, chronicled his experience as a team mentor for Teachers in a number of films back in 2019.
“My responsibility is to divide the project into manageable components”, In a video, Wynne revealed. It would be too much effort for the students if I told them, “Hey, let’s all try making video games. But instead, I break it down into small steps to ensure that they never feel overwhelmed, always have a direction and can continue setting and achieving their goals.
How STEM Learning is Advanced by Playing Video Games
Video games can actually be a successful approach to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, despite the fact that nobody wants kids and teenagers to turn away from the real world in favour of their gadgets.
Video games have two distinct advantages in this regard. First, because gaming is so captivating, educators and parents may pique students ’ curiosity and direct them toward learning math and science. Second, the development of video games requires a significant level of STEM expertise, making them an ideal vehicle for teaching coding and other computer-related skills.
Creating Games Based on STEM Subjects.
It makes sense for educators to take advantage of the popularity of video games to aid students in achieving their learning objectives, especially with gamers expected to spend $137.9 billion this year. In order to introduce middle school children to the fundamentals of nanotechnology, researchers constructed Geckoman.
The game depicts the tale of a scientist who must explore several realms in order to find fragments of his notebook. In order to solve a problem and advance to the next level, students are required to learn something about physical forces and nanotechnology at each level.
STEM games are just as popular as their more commercially oriented cousins because they combine problem-solving with engrossing storytelling.
Shawn Cornally, a teacher, pens an article for Edutopia “We now have fantasy worlds with flexible components thanks to modern gaming. When I play video games, I often ponder how the characters are animated by the programmers. Additionally, it’s not that difficult to get students to reflect and pose these queries.”
Of course, not all video games are helpful for teaching STEM subjects. They should also be intelligently crafted by topic specialists and developmentally appropriate for the age group they target, in addition to achieving the engagement requirements outlined above.
An Inside Look into Video Game Coding
Video games are a wonderful tool to teach students to code and the complicated thinking needed to construct a system, or, in video game parlance, a world, in addition to playing games centred around certain STEM topics.
It’s simple to “lift the curtain” and demonstrate to kids what goes into creating a video game because kids are already so immersed in video games.
To that end, there is the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The competition enables students to develop “twentieth-century abilities, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, cooperation, and design-system thinking,” according to Mark German, president of E-Line Learning.
Any game’s story, characters, and challenges need extensive planning, not to mention the problem-solving necessary to create the game from scratch.
Whether STEM concepts are taught through video game material or by creating one from scratch, one thing is certain: video games are a significant influence on today’s youth. We can ensure that these video games are a positive force by relating them to the field of STEM education.
A long-term effect on students.
The STEM Video Game Challenge aims to introduce kids to STEM in a fresh and engaging way and, in the end, to better prepare them for the future.
Maxwell Arch and Jade Short, recent high school graduates and prior competitors in the STEM Video Game Challenge, claim that their experience participating in the challenge for several years while in school was essential to their decision to pursue game production after graduation.
STEM career prospects are growing, but there aren’t enough graduates with the necessary skills to fill them. This issue might be resolved by encouraging more students to enrol in STEM programmes. Additionally, boosting the ethnic and gender diversity of STEM graduates not only has the potential to promote interest in STEM fields but also helps to broaden the range of available goods and services.
In this debate, the authors offer a suggested approach for putting into practice a summer camp for game creation to foster good perspectives of computer science and STEM.