In his latest video for Teacher, Year 6 teacher Ben Wynne shares how he maintains student engagement during the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge – a challenge that opens for students in Term 1, and calls for their submissions in Term 3. The challenge is open to students in Australia in Years 5-12 and requires them to create their own playable video game either individually or as part of a team.
‘So the students have chosen their platform. They're either going to be working in Gamestar Mechanic or in Scratch,' Wynne shares. ‘Giving them the opportunity to choose I think is very important because it allows all students to work at their own level and be comfortable with where they're at and what they're doing.'
While students are working out how to use the software they've chosen, they're also grappling with how they will go about turning their game idea into a reality.
‘And therein lies the first hurdle, I guess, for a lot of the students in that it's a lot harder than they expected to actually create the video game that they pictured in their head, that they planned out. So my job is to help keep everyone moving, keep everyone motivated, keep everyone on task.'
Wynne achieves this by making sure students are planning not only at the start of each lesson, but at the end as well. He's also made a point of highlighting the different roles in the game design process that different students will be able to fulfil – from coding to character art.
To hear about more of his strategies, watch the video below.
Stay tuned: We'll check back in with Ben Wynne soon to see how students are tracking with the challenge thus far and to discuss other considerations for the challenge.
It’s not too late to register for the 2019 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge. Follow the links on the official site to get started.