This morning, Aaron Schomburg's 4th grade Science students spent time in the Wellemeyer STEAM Center computer lab with students from Upper School Object-Oriented Programming, an intermediate level computer science class. “Today’s visit caps off an on-going collaboration between our classes in which 4th grade students provide us with food chains and nature sketches from around the PDS campus and our US students design computer games and simulations based on those plans,” explains US Computer Science teacher Theo Brasoveanu.
Today, the younger students had the opportunity to rotate between each game, try them out and offer their feedback. The US students created the games using Java and the learning tool Greenfoot, an integrated development environment designed primarily for educational purposes at the high school and undergraduate level. “It's always a fun encounter where the younger students get to play the games that Upper Schoolers have created and the older students get a chance to test and improve their projects based on user experience,” notes Brasoveanu.
Two US students shared how they approached this project and how collaborating with the younger students influenced their design process. Navaneeth Rajan ‘23 discussed how he enhanced his game after reading the prompts provided by the 4th graders: “the food chain game was too linear so I tried to mix it up a bit to make it more fun. I changed the way the enemies worked between each level by replacing them to make a new environment each time. I also changed the character each time so you played as a different animal to get a different experience.”
Mehak Dhaliwal ‘22 focused on incorporating the 4th Grade feedback in her beach clean-up game. “Something I wanted to do was create a character that accurately represented the description the 4th grader provided, so I made pixel art for each element of the character, such as her backpack, net and trash bag.” She also sought to make the game more interesting by adding levels, time constraints and scores. Mehak reflects, “the most challenging aspect was designing the game environment so that everything would work together on the screen. I learned that even if the game is simple, it’s still enjoyable.”
Mr. Schomburg observed, “One of the great advantages of the Princeton Day School environment is the access Lower School students have not only to Middle and Upper School facilities such as the Wellemeyer STEAM Center, but the opportunity to share learning with students from PreK through Grade 12. Our lower schoolers look up to and aspire to develop the skills of upper schoolers such as these computer science students.”
To experience the games created by the US students, click their name below!
- Mehak Dhaliwal '22
- Andrew Griesinger '21
- Fechi Inyama '20
- Jai Kasera '23
- Samay Nandwana '22
- Winston Ni '23
- Navaneeth Rajan '23