3050 S. Country Club Dr
Mesa, AZ 85210
Serving the Community
By partnering with the leaders in our community in education and technology, we best serve the needs of our children. Both now, and in the future.
Serving the Communityadmin2015-09-30T15:51:05+00:00
Serving the Community
Focusing on the current and future needs of our community
According to a report by the US Department of Education, students who spend even 1 to 4 hours a week in extra curricular activities were 60% less likely to drop out of school than their peers who did not participate.
Studies from the Maricopa County afterschool action agenda reveal:
Participation in quality afterschool programs result in:
Increased academic achievement in reading and math
Improved school attendance
Higher levels of student engagement and motivation to learn
Increased likelihood of high school graduation
Enhanced social skills
According to America after 3 PM a nationwide survey sponsored by the JCPenney afterschool fund only 16% of Arizona children participate in organized afterschool programs. And yet, more than 9 out of every 10 Arizona adults agreed that there should be “some type of organized activity or place for children and teens to go after school every day that provides opportunities to learn.” Every day, 300,000 Arizona children and youth are unsupervised taking care of themselves an average of nine hours per week many simply do not have access to quality afterschool programming.
Additionally, the hours between 3 and 6 PM are peak hours for juvenile crime and victimization.
An in depth understanding of the components of computers and how they interact with each other to make computers work is essential to be able to program them. We explain at a level that kids can understand what makes up a computer, and how it functions. The more knowledge kids have, the more confident they are in themselves.
Math is a key component to coding. Kids will need their math skills programming health points, game scoring, levels and functions, and we will show them how math applies and stress the importance of math in life.
Physics and even Algebra are integral parts of coding games. Whether they are two or three-dimensional they probably deal with vectors, motion, velocity, collision, and gravity. In our courses at this level and in-depth understanding is not required, however it is a good introduction.
Kids learn coding through a visual programming interface which is easy for them to understand. This gives them the foundation to understand how programming works regardless of the programming language.
Commitment and follow through can be foreign concepts to children in elementary school. Whether through individual or team activities we foster these principles throughout tasks and projects, and recognize and reward these behaviors at the completion of those tasks and activities.
in video game coding and design more often than not there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. One of the main facets of technology is to find better ways of doing things. We encourage and reward innovative thinking throughout our programs
Kids learn to manage their time by setting time limits on each portion of complex tasks and projects. They learn the importance of prioritizing tasks, getting the important ones done first, then spending any left over time on the parts they want to improve, but could live without.
Kids in elementary school are not typically thought of as having wisdom. It is never too early for kids to understand the value of wisdom, and the fact that they do have it in some aspects of their lives. By having them share what they have learned (sometimes the hard way) in creating a video game, we teach them both that they do have wisdom which is simply knowledge plus experience, and the value of that wisdom in real world situations.
We teach kids how to think creatively and critically as they create games trying to think of all the possibilities, then watch others play their games in order to see the types of things they did not think of.
Problem solving skills are important in all aspects of life. Coding is all about problem solving. Kids need to solve problems in game design before they even start coding. Then they need to figure out how to accomplish the objectives, and when their game is not functioning correctly, figure out why.
Troubleshooting can be an art form. Knowing where to look, and what problems are common helps kids get better at solving problems. The more they do this the more than confident they become in themselves, and they will find themselves applying these skills in other areas of life.
Programming is completely logical. Kids that understand and have practice with logic are better able to see cause and effect. This extends to all areas of life. Practicing designing games using logic enhances the brains problem-solving skills. Game coding uses “if-then” and “when-do” statements which trains kids to think logically.
Kids measure themselves in part by what they know. Increasing their technical vocabulary will help them feel better about themselves. Truly knowing how computers work along with the technical terms for their components and their operations, basics of how to code, and the logic behind the video games that they play, will boost their confidence among their friends and adults as well whenever technical conversations arise.
Due to the fact that video games can become all consuming for children, we stress the fact that balance is important in every area of life. We have a specific section dedicated to talking about this. We support and reinforce any rules parents have regarding their kids playing video games. We also express our belief that playing video games is a privilege not a right, and it is low in prioritization in their development, with schoolwork, grades, behavior and attitude much higher on the list.
Kids will have multiple tasks to accomplish in an allotted time frame. We teach them to prioritize those tasks in order of value and time to accomplish. This is really just a mini version of real life project management.
Nobody likes to fail especially kids as evidenced by the ability to set the difficulty to easy mode in most video games. We stress the fact that “failures” are positive experiences in the long run, as long as we use those “failures” for learning experiences. We like to say “if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough”. Our philosophy is that fear of failure is the biggest cause of lack of accomplishment. It is important to us for kids to know that “failing” at a task or a goal in no way means that the person attempting that task or goal is a failure, and that it is okay to fail.
Spelling and syntax are extremely important in coding. While kids will not be exposed to tons of day-to-day vocabulary words through programming, they will truly understand the importance of spelling in life.
While we follow a strict curriculum, where we set goals for each of our modules and classes, we also have the students set goals for their hands-on work time. We teach kids to set their own goals, and emphasize the great feelings that come from achieving those goals. We also stressed the importance of learning from mistakes, and explore with the kids the reasons if any goal was not met. We of course do this in a way that does not make the child feel embarrassed or ashamed but rather with the philosophy that if we don’t fail occasionally we are not trying hard enough.
We instill the value of passion in our programs. Game design is a pretty easy subject in which to do this with kids. Not only do we teach the principal that people typically do better at things they like doing, we also teach that it is possible to make yourself enjoy tasks and activities that might otherwise not be so fun. We do this at the end of projects by looking back to see what it took to get to the end result, and giving special recognition to how much better the difficult or less enjoyable tasks made the overall project.
Focus is difficult for many children in elementary school. In a game coding class however, kids tend to be much more excited about what they’re learning. If they are not paying attention during a section about a specific function, they are going to struggle to get their game to work correctly. The consequences are therefore greater than in traditional subjects such as spelling, where a misspelled word will only result in a lower grade. We teach the kids that by focusing, they will actually complete whatever task they are doing quicker. in game coding that means they can play and test out their game sooner. We urge them to apply this principal to the rest of their lives as well, especially the tasks they don’t really want to be doing.
We instill the value of discipline in order to complete tasks and projects in the time allotted. As with all of the other principles we touch upon, we extend our explanations to the benefits they receive when applied in real world situations as well.
Video game creation can get frustrating at times. We capitalize on the added desire kids have due to the fact that they are working on something they enjoy. We help them work through any difficulties, encouraging them along the way, and recognizing their accomplishments at the end. We make sure while they are feeling good about their accomplishments, that they recognize the payoff for hard work and perseverance.
We spend extra time cultivating a can-do attitude in every child, in every class. the main purpose of these classes is not to create game coders. It is to foster the belief in every child taking these classes, that they can become game coders, programmers, and IT professionals if they desire.
Kids will have the opportunity to become team leaders, present their creations, and provide constructive criticism to others. We stress the importance of the following leadership qualities: honesty, communication, confidence, commitment, positive attitude, creativity, intuition, ability to inspire, and perseverance.
Kids have a great imaginations, although that ability seems to dwindle as we age as it does not seem as important to and in adults. We reinforce the value of imagination especially channeled into creativity.
“We need to prepare students for their future, not our past. “