Saturday Studio – Spring 2014 7

Saturday Studio – Spring 2014

It is hard to believe I have facilitated Saturday Studio for over three  years now! This last round was short, but very productive.  It couldn’t have been done without great volunteers (pre-service teachers and graduate students), inquisitive children, and curious parents who come in to play and create each semester.  Volunteers worked with children ages 6-12 years old create game themed stop motion animations, Minecraft games, and game levels.  Since this session was  short (only 4 sessions), children focused on making a game using different mediums.   It did not take long for  children to dive in and explore their tools, materials, and environment to determine what they would make. Some children watched YouTube videos for inspiration, while others paired up together to plan co-creating games in Minecraft.  At the end of the four weeks the children had games to share  and play test at the interactive gallery show.

The children who participated came in with either very little experience using digital media or quite a bit of experience. The challenge we had with such a wide variety of experience was making sure everyone was given the support needed to learn how to use the mediums and challenge each other to dive deeper into what they already knew. We were able to achieve this through working with children/adults in pairs and small groups. The artifacts created were very diverse – below are some examples of what was created:

Stop Motion Animation was used to animate games such as Pong, Mario Brothers, and custom games.  See the playlist of their games here.

Minecraft was used to develop games within a game – children co-created and play tested each other’s games. Children created custom skins and worked with command blocks to program their games.

New to Saturday Studio was a game design platform called Pixel Press. It was used to draw platform video games. Children co-created games together and then play tested and gave each other feedback regarding their designs.

Designing a video game

Pixel Press


Next semester, Saturday Studio will run for 5 to 6 weeks in the Fall. I look forward to another semester where children and adults are playing and learning together!

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