PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact
Steve Waddell
I Support Learning, Inc. / Edmagineer
877-828-1216 phone
913-764-4668 fax
swaddell@isupportlearning.com

Awards announced for the Future Game Designer Challenge – Victor Valley High School Students Place First in High School Edutainment Games Division.

Olathe Kansas May 18, 2012 – I Support Learning, Inc. and the Support Learning Foundation (SLF) announced the High School Division winners of the 6th Annual Future Game Designer Challenge a competition for middle and high school students to create the next generation of edutainment games. A team from Denise Roderick’s Video Game Design class made up of Jairo F, Victor W, Joseph E and Keith B created an educational game called Treasure Raider. Their Treasure Raider placed first in the nation. Denise Roderick, Chris Douglas (VVHS Principal) and the Video Game Design Class learned of the win in an online meeting with the founder of I Support Learning, Inc. and the creator of the competition.

This year’s competition drew competitors from all over the US. Middle and high school students created a wide array of engaging games to teach students a variety of topics including: Math, Biology, Chemistry, History and Space. All of these games had three main things in common. The first, they are fun to play. The second, is they helped students learn a topic. Thirdly, they need to address state learning standards.

“We want students to be creative.” Commented Steve Waddell the foundation’s founder, “We tell the challengers that the first thing you have to worry about in getting a student to learn, is to get them engaged. So, this competition has students creating games that draw the player in. Once engaged the game must be designed to have the player interact with the concepts and learn.”
“We all were very impressed with the entries this year to the FGDC. As soon as I saw Treasure Raider I knew it was going to be a winner,” said Donna Goodman who helped with the game reviews. “This is not Denise’s first time to have a winning team. In 2010 Victor Valley High had an all women team that won first place in the Women Designed Games division.

“This competition has so many benefits. My students grew by creating something for someone else. This wasn’t something they did for a grade, or for me, but a game to help someone else learn and knowing that they were competing on a national level added to the excitement,” said Denise Roderick “One of my students just told me that they now know how to really work on a team.“

What can I say – Victor Valley High School continues to grow their 3D video game design program and with great designers and competitors” continues Steve Waddell. “The judges and I were very impressed with this game. Team Super Jairo Bros. created a game that has the player discovering treasure, and along the way learning about math. The game even had embedded student created math tutorial videos to help the player learn what math concepts they needed just in time to advance to the next level. You really have to be impressed with their instructional design elements. This competition shows the validity of having students create games to help teach other students. Time and time again in the Future Game Designer Challenge we see students rise up to the challenge and make useful edutainment games. Games that are worthwhile and fun. Games that teach. Think about the power of having games created by students for students. It is what our competition is all about – learners as creators.”

As part of the competition students had to turn in a developers log, document their code, show how their game helped meet state and national learning standards, create marketing materials like posters, cd cases, cd labels. They had to create an engaging storyline and then make the game and game play support the story concept. All this while making sure their games had real educational value. Steve Waddell the founder of I Support Learning, Inc. and one of the judges stated. “One purpose to this competition is to get students to take responsibility to help the next generation. It is why our competition is about creating edutainment games. It is fun to see what happens when you give students the keys to the car, so to speak, and let them drive the game to whatever destination they choose.”

The students learned their game design skills through an innovative career simulation curriculum created by I Support Learning, Inc. Denise Roderick uses the Video Game Design course as a way to introduce students to programming via a highly interactive career themed course that makes learning math, language, science, technology and 21st century skills very engaging to the digital native. To the learner the course is an interactive role-play game that looks and feels like a real high-tech internship. Students come into the class with little or no programming skills and leave with their own 3D video game. Denise has been using the ISL’s Video Game Design career themed course since 2007.

“We were very fortunate in our sponsorship team this year. We have a number of other sponsors including Web Professionals Organization, ITWomen.org, The Engineering, Computer Science and Technology Department at Cal State LA, the Instructional Design Department at Emporia State University and I Support Learning, Inc.

About The Support Learning Foundation.
SLF (supportlearningfoundation.org) The Support Learning Foundation believes that education – if encouraged and provided – can allow individuals to achieve their dreams and maximize their potential. Therefore, the Support Learning Foundation is committed to creating change by providing research, development, and deployment of career themed innovative methodologies and technologies. SLF was founded by I Support Learning, Inc, owner Steve Waddell in 2007.