Computer Science - gaming and simulations

Discipline Group: 

Computer Science

Program teaches students science of video games

Many teens pass the hours away from school playing video games, but through the ITEST Digispired ii program, students will explore science and engineering principles behind game controllers while learning programming tools to help create their own video games.  Students will learn the concepts that make controllers, joysticks and dance pads work. The teens also will use computer programming language like C#, which will help them learn to use the game-developing software Unity.


WHS girls earn national recognition for their tech knowledge

Watsonville High School freshmen Idzel Cano and Brianna Flores are students participating in “Tech Teach,” part of Watsonville TEC (also known as ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia), as high school instructors who teach middle school students computer operation and webpage design.  Years prior, as middle school students at Lakeview Elementary, Cano and Flores were part of an after school program called the Girl Game Company, in which they learned the basics of video game design.


Three county girls recognized for technology achievements: national award aims to encourage tech-saavy women

Watsonville High School freshmen Idzel Cano, 14, and Brianna Flores, 14, are among 25 talented Bay Area girls who will be honored by the National Center for Women and Information with an award for aspirations in computing Sunday at the Computer History Museum in San Jose.  Cano and Flores learned game design while middle-schoolers through the Girl Game Company, an after-school ITEST project sponsored by Scotts Valley-based ETR Associates in Watsonville.


Awakening the 'tech' in girls' brains

Developed in 2007, COMPUGIRLS is an ITEST project that serves 60 girls in underserved school districts in the Phoenix-metro area.  The girls, who are predominantly Hispanic, Native American and African-American, can begin the program as eighth graders and participate in six distinct courses, meeting four times a week for five weeks. In addition to advancing techno-social skills, they learn to improve their writing, conduct interviews, draft proposals, and research using the Internet, as well as ASU’s online library.


Celebration showcases Pajaro Valley after-school programs

Hosted by Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the Seeds of Change event was part party, part showcase for programs sponsored by the district and agencies, ranging from the YMCA to city Parks and Community Services.  During this event, which mixed education activities and activities that were purely for fun, featured computer games developed by student participants in a project known locally as Watsonville TEC, but also known as the ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia (AET).


Video game design program boosts interest in science careers

Designed to increase student interest in STEM subjects in traditionally underserved communities, ITEST project Game Design through Mentoring and Collaboration (GDMC) provides an environment in which students learn the basics of professional-level 3D modeling and animation software as well as the logic of game design and programming. Students also have the opportunity to become paid mentors, helping newer students hone their skills. Live Science goes behind the scenes of this important project.


Game design as a pathway to STEM careers

An ITEST project called Game Design Through Mentoring and Collaboration, a partnership between McKinley Tech and George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia, is showing students that STEM careers are not limited to white-coat-wearing lab scientists.  This project makes STEM relevant by having participants learn and then teach each other game design, 3-D modeling, and animation.  


Growing, from berries to tech

Launched in 2007 by ETR Associates, a Scotts Valley-based nonprofit focused on health, education and social service issues, Watsonville TEC (also known as ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia) has grown from a small program serving middle school girls (known as the ITEST Girl Game Company) to include video game programming classes for middle school boys, separate computer skills tutorials for fifth graders and for parents, and expanded to more schools.


TEC program director applauded

The under-representation of Latinos in fields like computer science and engineering troubled Watsonville TEC director Jacob Martinez and led him into a career where he teaches technology to students as early as the fifth grade.  Watsonville TEC (also known as ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia) is an after school program that will be in 14 Watsonville elementary and middle schools this year.


'Savvy' tech students coming from Watsonville schools

Watsonville High junior Stephanie Barraza won a national award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women and Information Technology in December. Barraza was one of 35 young women selected for the honor from more than 1,110 applicants, and she is just the next in a long line of Watsonville TEC graduates to garner accolades.