Asee peer logo

Outreach With Game Design Education

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

K-12 Engineering Outreach Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1137.1 - 12.1137.13

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


David Schwartz Cornell University

visit author page

After finishing his dissertation in Civil Engineering and writing two textbooks as a graduate student in 1999, Cornell's Computer Science department made an offer David I. Schwartz couldn't refuse. Schwartz has made a career in researching and developing new curricula and educational technology. Over the past five years, he has collaborated with faculty and staff to build the Cornell Library Collaborative Learning Computer Laboratory (CL3) and the Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC; CL3 currently hosts Cornell's new game courses, which now

belong to a new Minor in Game Design (in the College of Engineering) starting in Fall 2006. Schwartz is continuing to develop material for the Minor and also works as a software consultant to the Air Force Research Laboratory.

visit author page


Catherine Norton Cornell University

visit author page

A former doctoral student in clinical psychology at Syracuse University, Catherine Norton has research interests that range from adolescent development/motivation to education and learning in 3D Virtual World computer environments. Catherine is currently serving as the Outreach Program Coordinator for the Cornell Theory Center where she creates new assessment tools, conducts program evaluations, analyzes data and reports findings. She also provides program demonstrations, develops new programs and teaches workshops. Catherine is very interested in collaborative research projects, both on campus and off. She was pleased to assist Dr. Schwartz with the evaluation of the GDIAC intern project.

visit author page


Sue Schwartz The Learning Web

visit author page

Sue Schwartz has been an apprenticeship coordinator for The Learning Web for six years. An Ithaca native, she finds great satisfaction in connecting youth from her home town to opportunities where they can learn about their interests, talents and the world of work. Sue feels we could all use mentors in our lives, and takes pride in the mutually beneficial relationships youth in her program form with their adult and college student mentors.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Outreach with Game Design Education


Many universities and colleges are currently developing game design and development courses in response to student demand. Whereas some programs explore outreach opportunities via summer programs, the integration of service learning and K-12 outreach with college game courses is rare. We started a pilot program in Fall 2003 to research how educators can involve local youth (middle- to high-school level ages) directly within college game courses and thus offer a low-cost (and possibly, free) outreach program. In this paper, we explain our program structure and present our findings. The data shows that apprentices were positive about their experiences, though they requested additional hands-on instruction. We close the paper with recommendations and plans that attempt to combine the ideas of in-class mentoring along with traditional instruction.

1. Background

This section explains the various fields that we used to build our pilot outreach program: game design & development, mentoring & apprenticeship, and service learning. Our program merges these concepts such that college students involve local youth directly in game projects during class.

1.1 Entertainment Engineering

ASEE’s January 2005 Prism introduced entertainment engineering as a growing area to attract students1. Some example programs include University of Nevada’s Entertainment Engineering and Design program2 and Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC)3. Students work in multidisciplinary teams, combining fields of engineering, science, the arts, and humanities, to create class projects that involve fun for the users and the student developers. Such work appeals to students for a variety of reasons, which include expression and development of creativity, teamwork, and communication skills. The appeal of creating entertaining and challenging projects helps motivate students in their core courses. The possibility of a career in entertainment engineering provides further incentive to take technical courses.

1.2 Game Design and Development

Entertainment technology splits roughly into two categories: hardware and software. Whereas hardware might range from toys to amusement rides, software involves virtual and interactive experiences, i.e., games. Some programs, like ETC, often bridge both areas. The process of making a game closely relates to the engineering process, in which designers plan an environment composed of physical and/or virtual constructs that interact according to a set of rules. The developers employ technology to implement the plans, working in an iterative fashion in collaboration with the designers4, 5.

Schwartz, D., & Norton, C., & Schwartz, S. (2007, June), Outreach With Game Design Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015