Gamification is a buzzword that hasn’t reached the category of overused jargon yet, and it bears a quick review. Game theory and strategy have long been used to train in the military and private industry as a way to provide meaningful and efficient learning experiences . With nearly every school-aged child spending at least some time playing video games, the merging of game technology and the need to actively engage students in their education has finally reached its nexus. Many of today’s cutting edge educational technology products are based upon games, which give students an interactive format with cascading levels of self-directed learning that is ideal for individualized instruction.
Creation of games themselves is the ultimate way to incorporate gamification into STEM curriculum. Students are challenged to design entertaining games that will tap users interests for an extended period. Designing of games requires an immense amount of deconstruction of the gaming process from the user interface to deep level coding. The ability to think at this level is a sought after 21st century job skill. It entails not only programming skills, but subject matter expertise and a collaborative mindset in order to test every aspect of a game.
The National STEM Video Game Challenge is designed to leverage the inherent value in creating games and the need to incorporate STEM education in every classroom. Entering the challenge is a great way to bring your students into the realm of project based learning through competitive events. With more emphasis placed on the need to include coding in the education of every student, your classroom will be ahead of the curve as you prepare students to fill the gap between the need for workers who can code and those who are ready to do it. Get started soon, game entries are due April 24th.