Photo gallery Helping teachers design educational video games

January 30, 2017

On Friday, Jan. 27, ten K-12 teachers from around Wisconsin and the region gathered at the University of Wisconsin–Madison to help design and create educational video games for their students and for students across the country. The teachers traveled to Madison from Portage, Adams County, Waunakee, Green Bay, Middleton, Elkhorn, Waterford, Iowa City, Rockford and Racine to take part in a day-long workshop hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery’s Field Day Lab, led by David Gagnon, and funded by the UW–Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The teachers also attended a lunch panel where they met with UW–Madison researchers, state policymakers and other local teachers and principals to discuss the future of educational game design. 

The Field Day Lab project hosted a similar workshop last year with seven Wisconsin teachers and by August 2016 they had released nine middle school science games that are now used by school children across the U.S.. Gagnon says the games are played more than 3,000 times per day. The project has led to ongoing relationships with educators and teachers throughout the state, including a semester-long fellowship for teachers who gain educational opportunities, take part in monthly online events, develop curricula and hold meet-ups statewide. Field Day Lab has also begun to partner with other entities to bolster their ability to conduct digital media outreach and teacher-community building.

Dan Norton, CCO at Filament Games in Madison, Wisconsin, speaks to a group of UW-Madison researchers, Wisconsin K-12 teachers and principals, and state policymakers during a panel discussion on games in education on Jan. 27, 2017, in the Education Building atrium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Dan Norton, CCO at Filament Games in Madison, speaks to a group of UW-Madison researchers, Wisconsin K-12 teachers and principals, and state policymakers during a panel discussion on games in education.

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon (center) leads a group of Wisconsin K-12 school science teachers in a collaborative discussion with UW-Madison staff and experienced computer-game designers during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon (center) leads a group of Wisconsin K-12 school science teachers in a collaborative discussion. The educational outreach event is hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country.

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon (center) collaborates with Greg Vaughan (far left), staff at UW Games Education and Research (GEAR), Anna Jordan-Douglass (left), teaching assistant in the UW School of Education and Jake Eaton (right), science teacher at Madison Country Day School, during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop for K-12 Wisconsin science teachers held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon (center) talks with Greg Vaughan (far left), staff at UW Games Education and Research (GEAR), Anna Jordan-Douglass (left), teaching assistant in the UW School of Education and Jake Eaton (right), science teacher at Madison Country Day School, during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop for K-12 Wisconsin science teachers. Photo by: Bryce Richter

A group of Wisconsin K-12 school science teachers works in teams as they collaborate with UW-Madison staff and experienced computer-game designers during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

A group of Wisconsin K-12 school science teachers talk with UW-Madison staff and experienced computer-game designers during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Sarah Springers (center), a science teacher from Middleton, Wisconsin, collaborates with UW-Madison staff and experienced computer-game designers during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Sarah Springers (center), a science teacher from Middleton, compares notes at the Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Phil Dougherty, a software developer at the UW Field Day Lab, discusses gaming concepts with a group of K-12 Wisconsin science teachers during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Phil Dougherty, a software developer at the UW Field Day Lab, discusses gaming concepts with a group of teachers.

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon sketches out idea concepts on notecards during a Field Day Lab mini-game design workshop for K-12 Wisconsin science teachers held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 27, 2017. The educational outreach event is the hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Field Day Lab and focuses on designing and creating educational video games for their students and students across the country.

UW-Madison researcher David Gagnon sketches out idea concepts on notecards. Photo by: Bryce Richter

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