Video Gaming Meets Critical Thinking

Published on: January 3, 2018

Video Gaming Meets Critical Thinking
(A Professional Development Workshop for Middle and High School STEM Educators)

Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

High Tech Center (Carson High), 1111 N. Saliman Rd., Carson City.

Course Description: Help your students develop critical thinking skills with “real-world applications” of video gaming and computer modeling by attending this pioneering workshop being offered March 3rd at the High Tech Center (Carson High).

The Nevada and California silver Jackets have developed technology-based education tools to engage teachers and students in critical conversations about water, and to raise awareness of flood risk and water management issues. “By helping teachers understand flood risk and providing them with classroom tools students, parents and teachers become aware of flood risks,” says Hunter Merritt, water resources planner in the Corps’ Sacramento District. “This workshop is about understanding complex systems, such as water management, so the next generation of informed citizens can be better stewards of resources in the future.”

Merritt is scheduled to introduce “Flood Fighter: Nevada”, www.nevadafloods.org, a video simulation game, played by middle and high school students in STEM fields, to spark interest in water infrastructure. He will also demonstrate the Simulated Water Management Model (SWMM), www.spk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Flood-Risk-Awareness/Education-Resources/, a modeling program developed to promote students’ critical thinking in Earth Science, Physical Science, Physics, and Trigonometry. The interactive computer models takes learning to the next level; it promotes critical thinking and systems thinking, and requires astute decision-making. Additionally, Nevada Project WET and Nevada Division of Water Resources will conduct lessons to offer background on flood risks, benefits of floodplains, understanding and recognizing environmental conditions within your watershed.
Participants will investigate the use and value of these tools in classrooms to educate students on the complexities of water management. Nevada is an arid state! Yet, many people consider water resource issues only relate to a lack of water. There is flood risk throughout the state along with other environmental concerns. Balancing multiple needs with resource availability and community resilience will become a greater challenge as our demands for the use of our natural resources expand. Help your students think critically about a resource that matters to EVERYONE, at every age…WATER!

Course Objectives: (1) Awareness and use of computer gaming and modeling tools and their value in prompting classroom conversations. (2) An interactive workshop with a unique perspective on how to excite student learning and teaching methods. (3) Discussion on curriculum development & alignment to technology standards. (4) Demonstration on how the tools are used in real-world context. (5) Fundamental understanding of the use and value of computer technology in student learning.

Course Method of Instruction: The workshop will use lecture, discussion, demonstrations, audio-visuals, hands-on lessons and computer lab.
Pre-Registration required: 0.5 In-Service PDE Credit (NDOE). Contact Mary Kay Wagner |775-687-9454 or mkwagner@ndep.nv.gov. Bring a laptop or pad device to the workshop, if possible.