It was a Saturday morning in January, -14 degrees, but students at the Williston Northampton School were bundled and ready to learn. In a basement classroom in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Water Inquiry researchers Brittany Collins and Lily Sun projected images of Inquiry Inc. onto the SmartBoard in Kim Evelti’s Intro to Programming class and introduced students to characters.
In the coming months, high schoolers will work with Water Inquiry to create a computer game that complements our inaugural water story, Inquiry Inc. and the Case of the Missing Ducklings. “Students seem very excited about collaborating with the Smith community,” Lily said after presenting to the class. “Although this is a beginning programming class, I could tell that they want to work hard to execute this vision.
In consultation with Kim, who is the Director of Curriculum as well as a Math Teacher and Dorm Parent at Williston, Lily created a storyboard for students to use when designing their game:
“I [wanted to conceptualize] a game for first grade teachers to incorporate into their curriculum alongside our storybook. Carol had the idea of using scientific terminology in a game to teach kids about water vocabulary so, using our existing storylines, I tried to think of an interactive game that would allow kids to engage in learning processes about problem solving and the water cycle. In such a technology-dependent world, kids are surrounded by technology all of the time, so [games] really grasp their attention. This game incorporates the piloted books’ model of ‘stop and think; stop and talk; stop and do’ and has an emphasis on problem-solving as well as partner work, so it is unique because it will allow kids to not only interact with technology, but with each other—working together to investigate big curricular ideas.”
Using the storyboard, storybook, and Educator Toolkit as guides, Williston students will design their prototype with an eye towards educational engagement and entertainment, bringing Inquiry Inc characters to life while adding a new dimension to our project.
We can’t wait to see what they create!
Written by Brittany Collins on behalf of Water Inquiry.