This report evaluates a game coding workshop offered to young people and adults in seven public libraries round New Zealand. Participants were taken step by step through the process of creating their own simple 2D videogame, learning the basics of coding, computational thinking, and digital game design. The workshops were free and drew 426 people across the seven locations. 85% of participants completed an online evaluation form at the end of the workshop.
We evaluated the project in relation to its key goals and aims of:
- engaging young New Zealanders with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and showing pathways into future careers involving STEM
- engaging young people with public libraries as places to extend their STEM learning
- testing and refining the effectiveness and sustainability of the pilot model and improving the usability of Gamefroot (a game-building platform) for novice users in community contexts.
The report draws some preliminary findings about the effectiveness of the project and identifies areas for improvement.
The workshop was a pilot project funded through the Unlocking Curious Minds fund administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It was created and developed through a partnership between Public Libraries of New Zealand, Gamelab, Hutt City Council and public libraries in Dunedin, Timaru, Nelson, Hutt City, Gisborne, Porirua and Wellington.