For Immediate Release
April 11, 2012
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BROCKPORT, NY—Three students at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, demonstrated how games can be a key educational tool in elementary school classrooms during their Scholars Day presentation April 11.
Lisa Haller, Allison Peak, and Theresa Singh, all senior education majors, feel that games can be an efficient and powerful vehicle to build crucial cognitive skills in children while still ensuring that mandatory curricular objectives are still met.
“It is extremely important to have kids play and problem solve. There are a lot of benefits to having them work in groups and interacting—there are a lot of cognitive abilities that are developed through that,” says Singh. “Games can simultaneously be used to hit key points on the curriculum so that you’re not playing games without any benefit.”
After presenting an overview of their research on the topic, Haller, Peak, and Singh encouraged audience members to participate in some of the games that they had developed. One of these games is called “Gallon Bot.” Students are presented with a word problem that they must work through in order how to determine how to build a robot using various-sized containers. This game, they say, touches on both math (the various measurements of the containers) and science (mass and volume).
“The main thing is the content,” Singh says. “It’s about being able to develop games and lesson plans that are cross-curricular and integrated. Education in the elementary schools is so focused on math and literacy…games bring us a way of bringing in social studies, art, and science—subjects that are often pushed aside—while still focusing on math and literacy.”
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