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Infusing STEM into Game Design

We found, through watching the way that students choose to learn STEM topics, that game design is a perfect medium and possesses a very strong natural draw.

Much of our team started working together at an after school makerspace where students would choose their own path and we would then help them conquer that path. That makerspace had A LOT of really exciting potential options for students to choose and all learning was student led. There was robotics, Fischer Technik (super fancy engineering Legos), Arduino, web design, coding, as well as game design.

Over our time there, we saw that the majority of students steadily gravitated towards game design. They did that largely because they loved video games and they wanted to try their hand at building their own. And that is fantastic because it got them invested in their learning.

When we look at the way we can use game design to teach STEM topics, we have to first admit that we actually employed the use of STEAM topics,

  • Science

  • Technology

  • Engineering

  • Art

  • Mathematics

Because so much of game design is a visual process, we wanted to see students creating awesome works of art that were fueled by the other branches.

The reason we believe that game design is a perfect medium for STEAM topics is because there is nothing theoretical or repetitive about the results they produce. They can see what they are trying to do and the way it impacts the space around it. Just to list a few things, students can:

  • Simulate physics and watch a rocket (that they built) blast off.

  • Understand the relationship between hardware and software by pushing the limits of the programs they work in.

  • Build marvels and design to-scale recreations of things they’ve seen in real life.

  • Create anything they set their minds to.

  • See the way degrees of rotation and position in a 3D space work together in real time.

  • Learn code in an environment that gives immediate feedback and encourages tackling more advanced concepts.

And there is so much more that goes into game design. These are all things that students can work toward and learn within weeks (if not days) of starting in these programs.

Giving students the tools they need to take on challenges when designing games, and providing them with the support to confidently approach these challenges, allows them the autonomy to learn in a way that really sticks. Want to learn more about game design in schools? Book a demo with us.

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