Kol Greenbaum, a 10th-grade student at Maynard Jackson High School, was selected as the grand-prize winner in the Games 4 Change Student Challenge – Atlanta. Kol’s game, “City Simulator,” was selected among hundreds of submissions from students across the state. At a ceremony held at Georgia Tech on Wednesday May 16, Kol was awarded a $1000 scholarship to the college of his choice.
According to the website, Games for Change (G4C) Student Challenge is a national game design program that invites students to create digital games about issues impacting their communities. The Challenge is held in cities across the United States, and includes professional development in game-based learning for 20 teachers per city, in-school and after-school game making courses supported by curriculum partner Mouse, student game jams and workshops, mentorship by professional game designers and social issue themes with multimedia content provided by cause-based partners.
Kol’s participation in the challenge is a continuing effort on the part of Maynard Jackson High School and its Engineering Department to expose and engage its students in ever evolving STEM activities.
Michael Matthews, Maynard Jackson’s engineering teacher, applied for and was accepted to participate in the G4C professional development sessions where he was provided with resources to incorporate game coding as part of the standards based curriculum.
“I thought gaming would be a fun way for students to continue to develop their understanding of the Engineering Design Process,” Matthews said. “Kol was one of the students who really immersed himself in the work, took the opportunity and ran with it.”
Kol is an active member of the STEM community at Maynard Jackson, and is also a co-pilot and builder for the school’s FIRST Robotics team, the Jungle CATs (Consolidated Applied Technologies).