By Megan Alley
A group of students at Batavia High School recently designed and produced educational board games to help students at Batavia Elementary School with their studies.
The high school students, who are enrolled in a physical science course, presented their more than 25 games to the elementary school students during tutorial and Q&A sessions on Feb. 17.
“They partnered with teachers at the elementary to make games that could be used in the classrooms,” Karen McDonough, general biology and physical science teacher at the high school, said in an email
The high school students developed the games as a final project for studies on electricity. All the games had electrical components including motors, buzzers and lights, and the students used the engineering design process to plan and make prototypes before producing their games, according to McDonough.
She and her colleague Tom Smith were awarded grant funding from the Batavia Foundation that covered the costs of supplies and tools, such as drills and hammers. Rose Laminating and Mounting Co., Inc., located in Batavia, donated their services to laminate question cards for all the games, McDonough said.
The games were left with the students at the elementary school.
Students Christian Utley and Davis Trousdale, both 10th-graders at the high school, presented their game, which is set in space, to a class of fourth-grade math students in teacher Kathy O’Brien’s class.
They fielded questions, such as, “Did you get shocked?”, “How do you win the game?”, and “Is there a way you could die?”
Utley and Trousdale responded, “No, but there were some close calls,” “Get back to Earth,” and, “As far as we know, no.”
Fourth-graders Derek Richardson and Brooke Stagnaro, both students in O’Brien’s class, shared their thoughts about the project.
“I think it’s pretty cool that high schoolers could bring their time and come down and help us by making games that are educational,” Richardson said, adding that his favorite part was learning about all the wires and the electricity involved with creating the game.
“I liked learning about how they made it,” he noted.
Stagnaro liked that Utley and Trousdale included fractions in their game.
“And, I thought it was cool how they made the light bulbs work with all the wires and stuff,” Stagnaro said, adding that her favorite part was also learning about the wires and electricity.
Richardson said the high schoolers inspired him to want to create a board game of his own, and Stagnaro said she’s already tried to create a board game.
All the high schoolers’ game ideas will be submitted to an educational game company, according to McDonough.