K-12 Challenge: Make a Game, Gain New Skills

Seeking a spring challenge for budding student gamers, artists and engineers? Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media – producers of the “Working Class” documentary series – invite K-12 students, teachers and parents to create their own original board games or video games in the Game On! Art Challenge.

The challenge is inspired by “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” which can be viewed on WVIA On Demand, YouTube and the series website.

A member of the Penn College faculty who appeared in “Game On! Why Math Matters” encourages teachers and parents to view students’ interest in games as a way to connect them with academics and future careers. Making those connections is a theme of the “Working Class” documentaries.

“Some of the old classic board games get students to think about ‘What are the strategic things that my opponent’s thinking about?’ and, therefore, ‘What are the strategic and problem-solving things that I have to put together?’” said Jacob R. Miller, associate professor, computer information technology. “Getting kids to think about solving those types of puzzles is the very thing that will help them in learning things like mathematics. It also will help them with their writing skills, getting them to be curious, getting them to think about ‘How do I approach the problem?’ and ‘How do I solve it?’ All those things go into making them a much better student and, ultimately, a much better employee.”

The Game On! Art Challenge invites entries of original games created by K-12 students, teachers and parents. These may be in a classic board game style or a video game format.

The entry deadline is May 18.

Entries will be accepted in three categories: Grade K-Six Student, Grade Seven-12 Student and Teacher/Parent.

Entries for the “Game On” art challenge must be submitted via email, with an attached digital photo (JPEG file) of the original game board or a screen image of the video game in play.

A separate email is required for each entry and must include the following information: a title and brief description of the game; entry category (Grade K-Six Student, Grade Seven-12 Student or Teacher/Parent); artist’s name, grade and school (or homeschool); city and state; teacher/parent name; and email address.

Email entries and questions to Elaine Lambert, executive producer of “Working Class.”

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University