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Empowering Minority Youth to Engage STEM Learning through Community Partnerships and Ed. Game Design


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Empowering Minority Youth to Engage STEM Learning through Community Partnerships and Ed. Game Design

  1. 1. Empowering Minority Youth STEM Learning through Community Partnerships in Educational Game Design<br />Alex Games Ph.D. <br />Microsoft<br />
  2. 2. NSF statistics (U.S. 2007)<br />Job growth in STEM fields is 4 times total national workforce growth<br />Demographic trends suggest growth in STEM trained workforce will slow down and shift toward minority populations, particularly Hispanic <br />U.S. trails most OECD nations in secondary school completions andHispanic students graduate high school at 20 average points lower rate than white peers<br />Hispanic representation in STEM professions is reducing in relation to their proportion of the U.S. population<br />
  3. 3. Why teach STEM concepts through game design?<br />For many Hispanic youth, videogames are an entry experience into computer technology<br />Modern computer games are built upon sophisticated computer simulations of real world systems (Clark et al. 2009)<br />Games tie the pursuit of understanding modelsto player goals (perceptions, identity, Games, 2010)<br />
  4. 4. Good design pedagogies promote three mutually-reinforcing levels of understanding systems (Games, 2010)<br />Real Play<br />(CULTURE)<br />MaterialPlay<br />(TOOLS AND<br />COMPONENTS)<br />Player(s)<br />AUDIENCES<br />Ideal Play<br />(MENTAL <br />MODELS)<br />Game(s)<br />MESSAGES<br />Designer(s)<br />AUTHORS<br />
  5. 5. Assessing STEM Learning Pre and Post Camp<br />Words<br />Goals<br />Rules<br />Assets<br />Spaces<br />Play Mechanics (e.g. predator-prey)<br />Design and Concept Decisions<br />Inquiry<br />Audience<br />Modeling<br />Tool Use<br />Artifacts<br />Strategies<br />Practices<br />
  6. 6. Learning STEM through Game Design<br />Programs within informal learning settings have a history of game design as a pedagogy<br />
  7. 7. The Science and Art of Game Design<br />Uses a reverse engineering computational problems “under the hood” of games<br />TACIT => ARTICULATE KNOWLEDGE<br />
  8. 8. Analogical Reasoning<br />
  9. 9. STEM Game Design as Inquiry<br />
  10. 10. Community Partners: one learning, everywhere<br />
  11. 11. Conclusion<br />Educational Game Design is a space where youth can use THEIR OWN VALUED KNOWLEDGE to learn OTHER KNOWLEDGE, through PROBLEM SOLVING and PROBLEM POSING<br />Design and reverse enegineering are powerful methods to contextualize abstraction<br />Assessment as both product and process<br />