Game Pairing Environmental Concepts with Computational Thinking
The Pack, created by the New York Hall of Science, is an open virtual-world game based around two timely STEM subjects—environmental awareness and computationalthinking. The game is set in a future world where healthy ecosystems have faltered and resources are scarce. To restore the environment, students embark on an open-ended quest to find food and water by using their “Pack”—creatures that have unique functions, such as digging, moving, holding, grabbing, and repeating. When their Pack has more than one type of creature, players can combine the creatures into an algorithm to perform tasks and overcome challenges. The Pack is procedurally generated, and each game students start will be in a completely unique world. As they advance, students create more complex algorithms that allow them to do new things. The game is freely downloadable on Mac and Windows computers and is available as a freeapp for iOS mobile devices.
Nancy Drew Codes and CluesMystery Game sparks an interest in coding, especially for girls, through a fun and engaging story. The mystery adventure also builds critical thinking and reading skills, as students read along with story dialogue. As members of Nancy Drew’s De-TECH-Tive crew, players choose disguises, find clues, and program a robot puppy to solve the mystery of a missing project at the Tech Fair.
Learning through digital technology and video games can lead to more peaceful societies, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the educational arm of the United Nations. The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development has created two games aimed at teaching students about global citizenship and sustainable development.
An esports league has launched a free high school curriculum to help teachers use gaming to boost student learning. Gaming Concepts, from the High School Esports League (HSEL), was written as a turnkey curriculum that almost anyone with even rudimentary computer skills can teach.