What do you get when you add cards, dice, student gamers, markers and paint?
A lesson in math.
That's the goal of the current project in the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) game design and implementation program in which students are developing a game that makes learning math fun for younger students by relying on electronics.
While most of the concept games, such as Math MashUp, focused on arithmetic, some delved into algebra to help elementary and middle school students understand that topic.
During a recent class, students put their concepts to the test in groups. From there, teacher Heather Bigelow said, the students will fine-tune their concepts and then develop final designs and eventually games.
"We like building a game of our own and it is even more rewarding to know it would help younger students learn math concepts," said Kristian McGrail, a Schalmont student in the CTE program.
The projects will be graded based on their aesthetics, math and game design.
"It's a way of having students look at a topic outside the box," Bigelow said.
While students in the CTE program learn all about the technology of videogame design, including how to create web pages, computer graphics and characters using Adobe software; how to create comics using ComicLife; as well as learning about business procedures and professional etiquette, students also explore the history of gamesâ€” including that dark history before Pong and video games sprung to life. They also learn practical applications for games, such as teaching.
Top photo: With math calculations in the foreground, Â CTE students Cassandra Snyder and Andrew Slave, both of Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District, work on a game design.
To the right, Devon Duncan of Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Griffin Lapo-McDermitt of Ichabod Crane test a game concept.