For the 3rd year in a row I helped out with the Visioneers Design Challenge, and it was great!
Visioneer Design Challenge is a statewide learning program and competition for high school and middle school students interested in design arts connecting with professional designers in each field. 3 Years ago, Ryan, Amanda, Arnie and I volunteered to run a challenge that introduced game design principles. The challenge consists of two activities, a long term challenge to create a game using gamemaker, and a short-term one day game jam. The attendance for the first year was average, I think we had about 15 students or so. Flash-forward to today where we had 57 kids sign up. Yeah… I think it’s gotten a bit popular.
The day long challenge is intense. We have about 6 hours to create, playtest, and judge games. Every year we wonder if we’ll run out of time, but every year we end up with a collection of new games made by students that have never made games before.