Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fifth Grade Engineers!

Ask a fifth grader what their favorite video game or computer game is and the answers will vary greatly.  However, ask any fifth grader if they like to play computer or video games, and the answer will be a resounding, “Yes!”  This year, the fifth graders have the opportunity to create a video game level for a classmate.  Their reaction to this challenge says it all!

In order to create a game level for their partner, the students will use a process called design thinking.  In this case, the students will use this problem solving process to create a video game level.  Their game level is designed for a specific audience, their partner. The first step in creating their game level is to gain empathy or understanding for their partner’s wants. To do this, our students interviewed their partners.  The information gained from their partners is the first, and quite possibly most important, step in creating this product.  

The next step in the design thinking process is to define the challenge based on the information learned.  The students will define what the level needs to be considered fun for their partner.  Once the students know what their challenge is, they will ideate, or brainstorm ways to make their game level fun.  During this step, the students will sketch possible obstacles for their video game level.  After brainstorming many possibly obstacles, partners will meet again to provide feedback to each other.  After all of the planning, the fun will begin!  The students will take all of the information they they gathered and create a prototype.  The final step is to test the game level.  To do this, the students will use an app called Pixel Press Floors.  It will take the students’ designs and, with the press of a button, turn them into a video game.

This process will bring out the creative genius in each of our students. I cannot wait to see the final products, and it is clear that the fifth graders cannot wait to play their new customized video game!

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