About the Victorian Games and Apps Challenge
In April 2016, Premier Daniel Andrews visited the Microsoft offices in Seattle to discuss potential partnerships with Victoria around education, business and economic development opportunities. From these discussions, the Department of Education and Training and Microsoft developed the Victorian Schools Games and Apps Challenge for students. The Games and Apps Challenge (GAC) is open to all Victorian Schools and has become an annual event on the Victorian education calendar.
GAC aligns with the Victorian Curriculum and highlights the role of the Digital Technologies learning area and the Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Personal and Social capabilities in developing future-ready learners. The Challenge contributes to building the Education State in Victoria, in particular by supporting the STEM agenda. It aims to encourage creativity in coding and focus attention on the role of art and design in the games industry and asks students to solve real-world problems in the creation of their game or app.
GAC 2018 seeks to build on previous success by making the challenge more accessible to schools who are looking to start their journey into games and app development with their students. This year’s Challenge is themed, Together We Can and will be a showcase-style exhibition where all participating schools can exhibit their work at the Education in Games Summit 2018 held at ACMI during Melbourne International Games Week. Students will take the opportunity to show how collaboration and working together is the key to developing solutions to the everyday challenges they see in the world around them.
The exhibition day will include audience participation through a teacher passport activity and three People’s Choice Awards for student participants. At the conclusion of the Games and Apps Challenge, there will be awards and prizes presented to students based on feedback from people attending the exhibition.
As a part of the Challenge students will be asked:
- What is the problem, issue or challenge you want to address in your game or app?
- How is your game or app going to increase awareness, provide strategies, create empathy or make things better?
- Who is the audience for your game or app?
- Can you create a short 30-second to a minute video reflecting on your journey to create the game/app?
As a part of the GAC 2018 Exhibition students will be asked to:
- Explain your idea and game/app to other people?
- Create a tri-fold display board (supplied) to showcase the process of game making or app building and support the explanation of the game/app to the audience.
The Games and Apps Challenge is the perfect learning experience for all students at your school. You may consider it to be a focus project for a small group of students, a class or a year level or even a number of year levels. If many students at your school are participating in the Challenge, you might want to consider holding a games festival at your school, to share your students’ work with your school community and then choose a small group of kids (2-4) to bring along to the exhibition.
Each registered teacher can bring along 2-4 students to the Exhibition at ACMI.
Collaboration is strongly encouraged. Teamwork is a desired enterprise skill. “Enterprise skills are transferable skills that enable young people to engage with a complex world and navigate the challenges they will inherit” (FYA New Basics). The Games and Apps Challenge brings to the forefront many of these enterprise skills.