Research Project Purpose and Abstract:
Led by the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, located within the ExCITe Center at Drexel University, Skyscraper Games builds on the media attention devoted to lab director, Dr. Lee’s, large-scale art game installations. These installations include Pong™ on the Cira Centre in 2013 and Skyscraper Tetris™ in 2014, both of which utilized the LED lights of the Cira Centre, a 29-story central Philadelphia building. Both projects were recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, and garnered media coverage nationally and internationally. Tetris™ was mentioned in over 1,500 media stories, and had more than 2.2 billion impressions and an estimated ad value of $20 million. With Skyscraper Games, the Entrepreneurial Game Studio is leveraging the excitement surrounding the world’s largest video game displays to advocate for computer science education.
EGS began work on the Skyscraper Games project with support from Intel in January 2016. We have successfully recruited and worked with three charter schools, the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, and the Franklin Institute STEM Scholars. To date, the project has reached 82 learners from diverse socio-economic backgrounds who live in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Over half of these students self-identified as female or gender non-conforming.
In the next stage of this project, we will transition away from running workshops in our Drexel University lab space to having teachers and facilitators lead the workshops for students in their schools and communities with the help of our online curriculum. This self-directed, informal, online learning web application allows learners to move through lessons at their own pace, giving them feedback on their progress towards the goal of modifying an existing game, then designing and coding their own game for the Cira Centre. Our current curriculum can be found at www.Skyscrapergames.com.
Expected Student Deliverables (published papers or articles, conference presentations, poster presentation or exhibitions):
1. Complete thorough documentation of all backend systems, including underlying custom Python Library, CiraPy, prepared for publication.
Student Job Description, including key duties, responsibilities, and learning objectives:
The ExCITe Center seeks students with a passion for both technology and creative expression and the intersection of the two. We are particularly interested in candidates who have significant prior experience working with the MEAN stack, Linux, Python, HTML, CSS and game development. As a Lead Developer on this project, you will be part of the dynamic ExCITe Center community working together at the intersection of technology, design, and entrepreneurship, helping to support and grow these efforts.
The Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center was established in 2013 as a University-wide strategic initiative for research innovation. The Center pursues activities at the intersection of Technology, Design, and Entrepreneurship, a reframing of Drexel’s founding pillars of Art, Science, and Industry for the modern age. The highly multidisciplinary approach of ExCITe employs a diversity of perspectives to foster creativity, personal expression, curiosity, and collaboration. Visit http://www.egs.excite.drexel.edu for more information.
- Develop detailed project plan(s) to monitor and track development progress.
- Direct collaboration with Media Producer and other team members.
- Revamp Python library to support student learning.
- Maintain website functionality and prepare for tests.
- Integrate xAPI into website for data collection.
- Gain experience in educational technology.
- Learn how to quickly prototype and iterate potential solutions towards a strict project deadline.