Bellevue High School’s CS for Social Change club, Hack 4 Good, teamed up with DTML to assist in educational outreach through the creation of literacy games for students in K-12 education in developing communities. The team of six students came together during the 2017-18 school year to design and code game with the goal of teaching students about the different parts of a computer.
As technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily lives, the students felt it was important to elevate and incorporate technology into the lives of young students residing in less technologically advanced communities. Through the implementation of visuals, audio, and keyboard command, the students hoped to provide an engaging atmosphere for young students learning English.
Like all DTML games, Computer Parts in Outer Space is a literacy game. The game uses visuals, audio, and keyboard commands to engage young non-native English speakers to learn the common parts of a computer. Using in-game robots, the students provide an engaging atmosphere for young students who are learning English.
The teens learned to use Construct 3, a 2D game engine, to create their game. Tyler Wang, a Bellevue junior, said his goal was to make sure the game was both educational and fun. “As we created the game, having small details like background music and a space theme helped shift the app into an entertaining game,” Wang explained.
Throughout the process, team members strengthened their process thinking and ideation skills. Emily Huang, a senior, noted that the biggest challenge in creating the game was figuring out the various functionalities of Construct and “how they fit into our game plan.”
Sophomore Jack Zhang was excited about designing the flow of the game: “We put ourselves in the shoes of the players and this type of experience was fantastic.”
Aside from acquiring new technical and thinking skills, creating the game also taught the six a solid lesson in teamwork. Ein Chang, also a senior, said, “My favorite part of the game was working on it together as a team! We had a lot of fun brainstorming themes, adding different sounds, and combining our work to create a final product!”
Emily Huang echoed Chang’s sentiments: “I particularly enjoyed brainstorming our game themes and objectives as a team! It was a lot of fun working together and building on each other’s ideas, as well as making our final idea come to life through code.”
Creating the game has had an impact on the way the students are thinking about their future careers. Julia Dai, the fourth senior on the team, explained that working as part of a team made her think differently about what it would be like to work in the tech industry. “Usually when you imagine a software engineer, you think that they work alone all day, but working on this game proved that you need teamwork, especially in this industry.” In fact, it has opened her to new possibilities: “I definitely started considering joining the tech industry as a career after working on this game,” Dai said.
The lessons these six students learned from working on the game with DTML were just the beginning. DTML’s entire focus is leverage technology to provide access to free educational support to every child around the globe. Through DTML’s online portal, students across the globe can access variety of free eLearning materials. To support us with donations of any amount, visit their website at dtml.org/Home/Donate.