W.Va. Students Win 2nd Annual Globaloria Civics and STEM Games Competitions

June 27, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. Three students from Tygarts Valley High School in Randolph County are the winners of the 2nd Annual Globaloria Civics Games Competition, while students from Wayne and Harrison counties tied in the science games division.  
Tyler Gum, Jarred Bowers and Jacob Currence captured the civics title with the creation of their original video game, The Adventures of Henry the Hedgehog. In this game, the player controls the main character’s travels through different eras and countries to learn about government and civic responsibility.
“I enjoyed this game's creative design, fun storyline and impressive mix of mechanics,” said judge Jessica Goldfin with the Knight Foundation.
Judges of the Globaloria Games Competition in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) voted for a tie between Elemental Elegance, created by Randi Tinney at South Harrison High School, and Paleo Quest, created by Patrick Crockett at Spring Valley High School in Wayne County. Elemental Elegance teaches players about chemical elements through experimenting with and mixing substances to discover the different reactions they produce, while Paleo Quest focuses on the process of evolution.
“The Globaloria Games Competition is 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,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. 
Students on both winning teams won a Game Designer Kit, which included a laptop and Flash software, and will have their games featured on the Internet at http://www.worldwideworkshop.org/civics-winners-2011#winning and http://www.worldwideworkshop.org/stem-winners-2011.
Judges for the civics competition included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, presidents of the Alliance for Excellent Education; West Virginia Board of Education President Priscilla Haden; West Virginia Board of Education member Gayle Manchin; Jessica Goldfin with the Knight Foundation; and Dan Norton with Filament Games.
STEM game judges included U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board; B. Keith Fulton, a vice president with Verizon; Red Aphid game developer Brian Judy; Dixie Billheimer, CEO of the West Virginia Center for Professional Development; and entrepreneur Ryan Jackson.
 “The fact that you can go back to re-learn the chemistry information is a great, and an often overlooked option,” judge Ryan Jackson said about Elemental Elegance. Judge and game developer Brian Judy described Paleo Quest as “beautifully rendered.”
Launched in the West Virginia public school system in 2007, the Globaloria platform and program is now in its fourth pilot year, operating in middle schools, high schools, community colleges and universities across the state.
Contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 for more details.

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