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Game Design Expo at GNSS 

As 2013 wound down, students at Global Neighborhood Secondary School in GK's Playing for Keeps program were anything but checked out for the holidays. They had spent weeks developing, prototyping, playtesting, and iterating video games using the platform Gamestar Mechanic, and were ready to show off the fruits of their labor.

 

 

Overcoming their nerves and shyness, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders stood up in front of an audience of their classmates and teachers to speak about the elements of their games (space, rules, goals, components, and mechanics) and the process taken to complete them.

 

 

 

Other students got a chance to playtest the games that P4Kers spent a good deal of time developing.

 

 

As we slide into January, students at GNSS have already started to learn the platform Scratch, which they will use to make Games for Change about social issues that are important to them. Looking forward to Emoti-Con!

 

Playing for Keeps Kick Off 

This Fall, dozens of middle and high schoolers are transforming into game designers as Global Kids' signature program, Playing for Keeps, ramps up at schools around the city and at GK headquarters.

 

Students at the School for Human Rights in Flatbush, Global Neighborhood Secondary School in East Harlem, and I.S. 109 in East Flatbush have been taking a deep dive into the core elements of a game -- creating their own games from found objects, hacking classics like Tic-Tac-Toe and Rock Paper Scissors, and designing, iterating and playtesting levels on Gamestar Mechanic software.

 

As part of a Department of Education initiative, Global Kids is working with educators at four "Digital Ready" high schools -- Satellite Academy, Hudson High School for Learning Technologies, Academy of Innovative Technologies, and Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School -- to align Citywide P4K curriculum to state learning standards; possibly allowing the 19 participating students to receive academic credit for creating serious games about global issues and facilitating workshops on game design back at their schools and at other venues.

 

Next steps for these students include creating game design documents to outline how they will integrate a global issue into the core elements of their games.

 

Check out the photos below for the highlights!

 

Sixth graders at GNSS break down the core elements of the game of Tag.

 


Jada presents "Castle Run" a game she and her partners at SHR created out of found objects.

 


A found object game featuring the core mechanic, balancing, presented at SHR.

 

High Schoolers from Digital Ready schools ponder how to add chance to Tic-Tac-Toe.

 

GK at Maker Faire 

This weekend, two intrepid students from Global Kids' In School Youth program took the long subway ride out from the International Arts Business School at the Wingate campus in Flatbush to the New York Hall of Science in Queens to participate in the annual Maker Faire.

 

 

They marveled at extravagant Lego creations and robots of all shapes and functions, checked out the life-sized mouse trap and the boxcar derby, and drank fruit smoothies. They also engaged those passing through NYC Hive's section of the Young Makers tent in interactive "choose your own adventure" storytelling using the platform Twine.

 

 

Clayderman and Deion began the story:

You wake up on a beach by your home. You see some driftwood and a metal bat. Which do you choose to pick up, the metal bat or the driftwood?

From there, each Maker Faire attendee who stopped by added a passage and a link or two to the story.  By the end of the day, the tale included playing softball with coconuts, talking fish, and snapping turtles. Check it out here. Be prepared: it is very much a rough cut and there are some broken links -- none of the Makers at the event wanted to end the story!

 

Deion from GK's ISY program helps two Maker Faire attendees add their passage to the interactive story.

 

Thanks to Hive for inviting us to take part!

 

Global Kids takes part in littleBits Global Makeathon 

 

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At the Global Kids headquarters this past Saturday September 14th, a group of kids from different parts of New York City and different ages gathered to take part in the littleBits Global Makeathon 2013.  According to the littleBits webiste, the Global Makeathon was "the world's largest physical and virtual littleBits workshop. We are bringing together makers from around the world for one day to bring their own cities to life. Join us, with your Bits, your crafts, and your tools and Make Something that Does Something!" 

 

Young kids who came to take part on the challenge started the day talking about the things they enjoyed the most about living in New York City. The theme of the makeathon was "Bring Your City to Life" and the kids were excited to start thinking about how they could represent their city in the challenge. After introductions from Ayah Bdeir to the challenge and a google hangout with makers from all around the world, the kids learned the basics of using little bits: that the color blue was for the power bits, pink for input, orange for wire, and green for output.

 

Ebba's Take - That Could Be Your Sister 

For ten weeks, Global Kids is hosting intern Ebba Minas, an 18-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden on a gap year between secondary school and university. She had the opportunity to participate in That Could Be Your Sister, last week's event co-hosted with Radio Rookies, during which youth designed digital tools to combat sexual cyberbullying. Below, read her impressions of the event and her comparisons between conversations around "slut-shaming" in the US and Sweden.

 

Photo by Yasmeen Khan of SchoolBook
GK intern Ebba Minas (on the right) prepping for her group's presentation.
Photo by Yasmeen Khan of SchoolBook, see article.