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UNG to host game design workshop
Students in grades 5-12 to learn basic steps of coding
0616UNG-CODING-SESSIONS
Students in fifth through 12th grades will learn the basic steps of coding at the University of North Georgia Dahlonega campus. The workshop will be from 3-5:30 p.m. Monday, June 20 in the Library Technology Center. The effort has resulted in the first National STEM Video Game Challenge workshop to be held in Georgia.

Video game design coding workshop

When: 3-5:30 p.m. Monday, June 20

Where: Library Technology Center, University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega

Cost: Free to students grades 5-12

More info: josh.cuevas@ung.edu or 678-478-0228

As more and more children learn the ins and outs of the computer world, especially video games, the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus aims to develop those skills ever further.

On June 20, dozens of students from fifth through 12th grades will converge on UNG in Dahlonega to see if they can take their love of video games to the next level in a workshop teaching video game design.

“This workshop will teach students the basic steps of coding,” said Joshua Cuevas, an assistant professor of education at UNG who helped organize the workshop. “Students, particularly middle school students, spend a great deal of time on personal devices and social media, and we want to provide them with a more productive outlet — in this case, the National STEM Video Game Challenge. After this workshop, they will be able to go online and work on these games while building math and science skills, helping academic learning transcend the school walls into their home and social networks.”

The workshop will be from 3-5:30 p.m. Monday, June 20 in the Library Technology Center on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. Some slots are still open for the workshop, which is free to students in grades 5-12. To register, parents and students can visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-stem-video-game-design-workshop-tickets-25689617337#tickets.

Cuevas said ingenuity will be a major theme of the workshop, which aims to interest students in coding through a medium they find enjoyable — video games. He added part of the longer-term vision for the event is to keep the students engaged during the summer and encourage coding during the next school year as part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics program.

“This collaborative effort has resulted in the first National STEM Video Game Challenge workshop to be held in Georgia,” said Chad Mote, founder of Mote Ed, who helped bring the workshop to North Georgia. “The event will highlight the benefits that video game making through computer programming and design principles offer young people. Historically, students from rural areas in our state have not been exposed to these types of events.”

The workshop is sponsored by the national Institute of Museum & Library Sciences. It will be led by game industry professionals from E-Line Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The workshop will be co-facilitated by Mote Ed, LLC, a local company that provides support for innovational educational experiences.

“We hope this workshop will further stimulate interest in students wishing to pursue technological pathways both at the middle school and high school level,” Lumpkin County Middle School Principal Chris Froggatt said.

He added the school has designed a series of connections classes to allow students to experiment with coding, robotics and other branches of technology.

“They can take a different class each year in middle school with the ultimate goal of providing a foundation in computer programming and hands-on applications,” he said. “This foundation will encourage more students to select technological pathways in high school and broaden general interest in technology and its applications.”

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