BCPS students win competition to design instructional video game
ESSEX, MD. – For a talented group of Eastern Technical High School students this spring, delving into virtual worlds filled with quests and puzzles and avatars proved to be more than just fun and video games.
The students – Kate Delossantos, Molly Lynas, and Scott Sechrist – were the top winners of the third annual BCPS Student Games Contest, part of the school system’s Project L.i.V.E. (Learning in Virtual Environments) initiative aimed at stimulating and nurturing student technology talent.
The trio’s entry, “Formula Fantasy," was recognized at a special awards ceremony earlier this month at Eastern Technical High School. Second-place honors went to the team from George Washington Carver Center for the Arts and Technology -- Miguel Fernandez and Kayla Clay -- for their game titled “Journey to the Derivatives: The ex Battle." Alex Reynolds, Jr., of Owings Mills High School took third place for his entry, “World Redemption."
This year, more than 70 students from eight BCPS high schools submitted more than 30 video game concepts – three times the number of entries in previous years -- based entirely on school system curriculum. Designed not only to educate but to entertain, the contest entries were reviewed by a team of BCPS teachers, curriculum experts, and game industry professionals. The winning entry will be used by commercial gaming professionals to create software for use in BCPS schools.
In “Formula Fantasy," for instance, game players use chemistry and other science- and mathematics-related skills and knowledge to complete a series of challenges, which include defeating adversaries and navigating virtual worlds much like the most popular commercial video games.
“The contest really taps into the creativity and technical expertise of our students, and does so in a fun and enriching way," said Daniel Scroggs, manager of the BCPS Department of Technology. “Especially since Baltimore County is a center of the gaming development industry, the students we challenge and honor with the contest today are well on their way to soon becoming the award-winning video game designers of tomorrow."
In addition to the winning game becoming professionally produced, award winners received trophies and software donated by Microsoft.
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