This curriculum is extremely popular with the kids, and is a good way of engaging kids and teaching the kind of decision-making and experimentation behind successful digital creation. Using Geek Squad-created content and the Stencyl game creation software, the class helps students develop the programming and problem-solving skills needed to fix errors intentionally introduced in our “Gopher Roman” game. The students fully engage in in the computer programming process, manipulating characters, environments, backgrounds and behaviors as they learn to solve problems they find in the game.
Stencyl is a great vehicle for introducing programming to younger audiences. Because it is a drag-and-drop tool that reduces computer coding to actions, students intuitively grasp the concepts as they work with the software, and are able to edit parameters and rearrange activity blocks much the way computer programmers do without having to learn complex programming languages.
Geek Squad Agent Travis Sellers and Best Buy Blue Shirt Kelsi Facsina ran a demo of the Gopher Roman program in the Best Buy booth at the Expo, showing educators and other attendees how the tool can be used to draw students into the programming process.