STEM Education Burlington High School

Have Pocket Pants – Will Travel…. I had a great opportunity to meet with Mike Vander Linden’s Video Game Coding class. These Burlington HS students will be the first class to earn the new industry certification in coding. Talk about having a great semester. I mean really, between the opportunity that Mr. Vander Linden is giving them to learn coding, their chance to earn an industry certification through this course and the opportunity to submit a game to the Future Game App Designer Competition – there is absolutely no reason for them not to have an amazing experience and one heck of a portfolio to back it all up.

We talked about Game Mechanics, User Interface, Interactivity, Game Engines and the power of story to engage players in the action and purpose of the game. I also talked about clever games I had seen from students around the country, and some hints as to what it takes to win the game competition.

We also got into a discussion about choices.

“A game is a series of interesting choices.” – Sid Meier

The reality is that every designer, coder and creator is constantly making choices. Some of the choices are easy to make and some are not so easy. However, at the end of the day, the game you create and how well it is received is a result of all those choices. For the students who are going to team up to compete in the game competition they will need to learn how to manage making choices, not in a vacuum but as a team.

Mike has an awesome group of students this year and we are all looking forward to seeing the games they come up with.
I always like to back up career opportunities with hard numbers for students. Therefore, we also talked about a couple of my favorite stats.

Department of Labor predicts Web, App and Software Coding to be one of the fast growing career tracks. Research shows. 24% average growth over the next 10 years.

As of mid-2015 there were 8.6 million STEAM jobs in the US. This equates to 6.2 percent of total U.S. employment. Of these nearly 9 million STEAM jobs, nearly 45 percent were computer based.

These stats show that the opportunity that Mr. Vander Linden is giving his students is right in line with where the STEAM careers are going to be.

Shout out to the Admin/Tech Group at Burlington

Thanks for letting me pop out and meet you all. Have fun – Steve

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