Students help program science computer game

“It’s the curiosity that you need to get them to want to learn. … Plus, in this game, the whole point is to save a life–not to kill it,” she said, alluding to the violence seen in other video games.

In programming and modeling for Immune Attack 3.0, both the students and college-aged instructors had to learn more about the immune system.

“I can’t lie. I learned so much this summer,” Johnson said. “We had to use Google and Wikipedia a lot so we could learn what things looked like, and since we did 3-D animation as well, we needed to know how things moved.”

Ciara Belle, a programming instructor, said she and her students had to learn about the neurological and respiratory systems to make sure the programming they created made sense. The programming students created four mini-games that will be used within Immune Attack 3.0.

“If you click on objects and text pops up, you can learn the details” about different parts of a cell, for example, Johnson said. “But if you play a mini-game, there’s more incentive to learn. It keeps the kids engaged more.”

Kelsey said the point of the program, and what they do at McKinley in general, is to expose inner-city children to technology from a young age.

“If you don’t have technology skills, there’s not a job out there for you,” he said. “So they leave here with 21st-century, college-level skills by participating in something we wouldn’t be able to do during the school year.”


Be the Game

Immune Attack