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Calling All Student Game Designers: K-12 Game-a-thon is Open for Submissions

Do your students play a lot of math games? Whether they are flying through ST Math or working their way through the big list of math board games, it may be a great time to challenge your students to create their own math game.

I am excited to announce that the K-12 Game-a-thon is now open for submissions!

In this annual event, we challenge students to create their own math game that will help engage other students in multi-step problem solving, strategic thinking, math exploration, and more!

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Game Design Develops 21st Century Skills

Throughout the process of creating their game, students develop skills in communication, project management, problem-solving, creativity, leadership, digital literacy, and more. 

Not only will students develop 21st century skills through this project-based learning experience, they also have the opportunity to share their game with the world (including other game designers) and win prizes. 

This year’s top prizes include exclusive copies of the next game in the MathMINDs Games series, Turtle Sums, which will be published Fall 2020.

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Math Game Design Tips for Students

Looking for tips for your students? Here’s what I’ve learned as a game designer and a K-12 Game-a-thon judge over the past five years.

  • Play lots of games first—and not just math games.
  • Stuck on where to start? Think about modifying or combining some of the games you’ve played.
  • When you make your prototype, don’t worry about how it looks at first. Test it to see if it works!
  • Give your players choices in the game. This is where the math can emerge in non-obvious ways.
  • Observe your play-testers when they play your game—are they leaning in? Are they talking a lot to one another? Are they smiling?
  • Think about how to improve your game for next time—do players need more choices, shorter or longer turns, another way to win, etc?

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the top teams from last year's challenge

2019 Hall of Fame

Game-a-thon entries must be received from February 17, 2020 through June 30, 2020.

We can't wait to see what students create! Share your progress with us via Twitter by tagging @MIND_Research and #MathMINDs!

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Calli Wright

About the Author

Calli Wright is the Education Engagement Manager at MIND Research Institute. She loves playing and designing board games, which she often talks about on twitter @CalliWrights.

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