by Theodora S. Tziampazi
STEAMulation Theory: The virtually awakening moment when you realize that you have been playing in a stimulating STEAM educational game for the last months.
Play in teacher-student mode
You are in the map of STEM Discovery Week 2019 and spot an activity, titled Game Desing in Scratch, which took place in a small school of a small village of a small country of a small planet. Continue reading to watch me gamify my reflection.
All you need is love for teaching and money for materials to introduce your students to an amazing world of robots. Unless you live in a parallel universe where your small public school thanks a generous educational policy, search for available programmes and apply for a grant from organisations which may support you. My version of the game has John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation in ‘thanks’ part. This is the way we collected educational robotics kits and books.
Badge Spotting opportunities
Run a workshop to learn and teach educational robotics and engage students in activities promoting 21st century key competences and computational thinking.
Badge Dare to Learn along with your students
Go for a broader understanding of robots by developing a course addressing historical, social and cultural aspects of robotics.
- Look around for cultural material (Europeana DSI-4 project seems fine-check)
- Try some creative coding (what about making a virtual exposition presenting Automata of Europeana? (check).
- Manage a book club. Thematic unit: Robots. Explore the amazing genre of sci-fi in children’s literature and enhance kids’ creative and critical thinking via various activities and discussions. (check)
Badge From STEM to STEAM
Now that you have enriched your knowledge and do not mind the gap between technical and artistic, you become needy greedy for something new, challenging, and synthetic. Combine the fragments you have collected into a new product! Stories, programming, robots… strolling in your head until… Bingo! Our next stop is coding a game from scratch in Scratch. It has it all:
- Extra motivation: It is going to be our participation in 5th National Scratch Game Design Competition.
- Creative thinking: Incorporating, transforming and mixing ideas inspired by books. Conceiving a game narrative is a kind of creative writing: building a character, come up with a concept/plot, adopt a style of expression adding new modalities. Imagine the player’s goal as a problem to be solved in an interactive story.
- Algorithmic thinking: Translate your intentions in the language of Scratch coding. Set up a scene, animate charaters, play with variables, bolleans etc. by choosing the right blocks and putting them in the right order. Quite a challenge! Prepare to rack your brains.
- Collaboration: This time-consuming, yet exciting, project cannot be done without sharing responsibilities. Split them!
- Re-try again: Trial and error, prototypes, evaluations again and again. Our first ideas are not the best ideas. Re-write, re-design, re-imagine.
- Fun: just that.
The title of the game is «Αναβάθμιση τώρα» which means “Upgrade Now”. You can check the description for more details (also in English).
Badge: Design Thinking, Persistence
B-log in and share your enthusiasm and STEAMulation experience with other educators. 😉
Note for students: Keep in mind that playing a game takes much less time than creating a game. Kids who realize this gain a mature approach when they make assumptions about the relations between efforts and results, production and consumption. This is one of the reasons I consider this activity valuable, as it may make you empathize with your teachers since…
(Note for teachers) creating a game with your students, probably, takes less time than designing a lesson plan to make it an authentic and meaningful learning experience. But, the … upgrade of your self-efficiency and your professional role as a creative teacher is totally rewarding! So, I hope you are encouraged to…
***start a new game !!! ***
- Robotics workshops have been held in our school since February 2019.
- Programming a VR space with Automata of Europeana was implemented in February of 2019. It was part of a learning scenario titled “Robotkind: i-dolls in the mirror” which is under publication in this blog.
- Activity “Game Design in Scratch” took place between 23-3-2019 until 29-4-2019.
Copyright Robotic Village
My name is Theodora S. Tziampazi and I create, learn, play, lose, win along with my students and colleagues in a primary school of Crete, Greece.