W.Va. Students Win First Globaloria Civics Games Competition

June 11, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. Two students from Sandy River Middle School in McDowell County won first place from 25 entries in the Inaugural Globaloria Civics Games Competition.  The students, who named their team The Fox Racers, captured the title with an original game called “The Race to Justice.”

“The competition gave my students that extra push in working toward their final goal of imagining and completing a game that works,” said teacher Ingrida Barker. “In the process, they learned so much, and had to take their time researching their topics, as they knew that the experts would be reviewing the content of their games. For me this was the best way to teach students about reliable and non-reliable sources of information as well as the importance of citing sources."

The winning game is designed to teach their peers about civil law. Their game is featured on iCivics.org and WorldWideWorkshop.org as a learning tool for classrooms nationwide, and each team member received a laptop with tools and software for supporting their computational creativity as well as a letter of commendation from the Globaloria panel of distinguished judges.

Other finalists included a game by Globaloria students at Greenbrier East High School entitled “The American Choice” on the electoral process; two games by high school students from the Randolph Technical Center entitled “What Are They Thinkin’?” on differences between political parties and “The Galaxy Guide: Operation Government Branches” explaining through play the three branches of government; and a game by South Harrison High School students called “Citizenship Trivia” about immigration laws.

Competition judges included Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education; iCivics.org’s Executive Director Abigail Taylor; West Virginia Assistant State Superintendent, Dr. Jorea Marple; Jessica Goldfin, a program associate at the Knight Foundation; Dan Norton of Fillament Games; and the First Lady of West Virginia, Gayle Manchin, who also is a member of the West Virginia Board of Education.

“The Globaloria Civics Games Competition was a great opportunity for teams of students to learn together and apply their technology knowledge in the design and construction of an educational game prototype to support Civics content learning,” Marple said. “The competition is evidence for Globaloria's success in providing our students with all kinds of knowledge and skills to work in collaborative teams to produce prototypes of educational games that have a social purpose.”

Launched in the West Virginia public school system in 2007, the Globaloria platform and program is now in its third pilot year, operating in 22 middle schools, high schools, community colleges and universities across the state, and will triple in size again in the next school year. Research shows that Globaloria’s innovative digital learning model increases student mastery of state content standards and objectives and 21stcentury skills by immersing students and educators in a learn-by-doing atmosphere.

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