Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation
An educated citizenry that participates in and contributes to science technology engineering and mathematics innovation in the 21st century will require broad literacy and skills in computer science (CS). School systems will need to give increased attention to opportunities for students to engage in computational thinking and ways to promote a deeper understanding of how technologies and software are used as design tools. However, K-12 students in the United States are facing a broken pipeline for CS education. In response to this problem, we have developed the Scalable Game Design curriculum based on a strategy to integrate CS education into the regular school curriculum. This strategy includes opportunities for students to design and program games and science technology engineering and mathematics simulations. An approach called Computational Thinking Pattern Analysis has been developed to measure and correlate computational thinking skills relevant to game design and simulations. Results from a study with more than 10,000 students demonstrate rapid adoption of this curriculum by teachers from multiple disciplines, high student motivation, high levels of participation by women, and interest regardless of demographic background.