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HES Students are Escaping with Creativity

Photo of Holleman students I.T. Holleman Elementary (HES) students are working closely to make an escape. In a recent session, 30 Gifted and Talented (GT) students participated in an escape room type of puzzle using the gaming platform, Breakout EDU.

The Breakout EDU is a new product that allows educators to bring gaming into classrooms in a way that guides students into learning new skills. Each game consists of an EDU box that students have to open within a certain time by solving a series of mysteries. The game requires students to learn about collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. HES GT leader Deborah Politsch discovered Breakout EDU during a teacher's professional development meeting.

“I wanted to use the boxes with the GT students to show them how collaborating can get a job done easier than working against each other,” Politsch said.

GT students are also working on creating digital stories with Scratch and Makey Makey. With Scratch, students can create interactive media such as stories, games, and animations. They are able to share their creations with others through an online community, allowing for feedback. Makey Makey is an electronic tool that uses circuit boards along with simple supplies to connect everyday objects to computer programs. Both applications focus primarily on teaching students about programming and creativity. In the coming months, students will begin working on their projects for the Excellence Expo in April. They will be able to choose what project they want to create and present at the Expo.

“My hopes for this program is that the students will grow in their desire to keep exploring and learning new things,” Politsch said.

GT students are those who perform at or show potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment.