Digispired ii Summer Academy

Commencing on July 12th 2010, Digispired ii: Workforce Inspiration Investigation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (WiiSTEM) welcomed 71 students from Halifax, Mecklenburg, Charlotte, Farmville, Cumberland, Appomattox, Hopewell, Petersburg, and the Richmond area. This kicked off the beginning of a three year project established through a grant by the National Science Foundation. Based in three locations, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Longwood University, and Virginia State University, the program focused on introducing these students to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Using Scratch software, a product to facilitate game design, the students were taught to create innovative learning games including interactive characters and backgrounds while incorporating STEM related concepts. During the two weeks, the students were asked to come up with no less than 9 projects; 7 learning projects, a group project, and an individual project. Each project incorporated a new aspect of Scratch and taught the students how to use the Picoboard, a gaming console connected to the Scratch Software.