Digispired: Digital Inspiration for Interactive Game Design and Programming Skills
Digispired (Digitally Inspired) is a three-year project to provide 90 urban and rural low-income middle school students with opportunities to learn computer programming (i.e. C++), computer animation and digital imaging to create interactive games. Students will be recruited from Halifax, Hopewell and Prince Edward Schools of the Southside Virginia Regional technology consortium. Students will receive 144 hours of instruction per year (80 hours in the summer and at least 64 hours on Saturdays during the school year). Some of the activities include the following: 1) exploring 3D animation using Kahootz and Robolab, 2) investigating the use of digital imaging and digital audio for game environments and 3) programming a LEGO robot. The students will focus on developing games to understand the importance of four major science topics: a) environmental conservation, b) health and nutrition, c) exercise and physical activity, and d) substance abuse. Students will have opportunities to develop logical thinking and to enhance their programming skills, creating their own learning objects and interactive games. Parents are also an integral part of this project. They participate in 60 hours of face-to-face workshops on topics like using the Internet, conducting scholarship and financial aid searches and understanding brain-based learning. All instructional and professional development resources developed by Digispired staff and at least 50 video games created by the students will be available for download from the project website.