Pembroke Pines Charter Teacher Engages Students “One Blox at a Time”

Idea Expo Catalog Cover

Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics were just a few of the classroom subjects highlighted during the recent 23rd Annual Broward Education Foundation Innovative Teacher IDEA EXPO at Nova Southeastern University in the Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center.

More than 450 Broward County Public School teachers attended the anticipated expo. All the dedicated educators got to experience first-hand more than 60 original curriculum projects developed by their colleagues and funded through Broward Education Foundation grants which will ultimately benefit more than 300,000 students. Additionally, they all received the tools needed to bring projects to life in their respective classrooms. 

The innovative projects, designed to engage and motivate students, focused on STEM, social emotional learning, reading and comprehension, the environment, nutrition, and so much more. Many esteemed educators had the opportunity to showcase their projects including Pembroke Pines Charter East Campus Elementary School teacher Gisela Naranjo.

School teacher Gisela Naranjo

Naranjo’s project, Piecing Tales Together One Blox at A Time, begins with an introduction to computer software engineering and game design. Students research the field, and then interview a game designer. It teaches students to learn about the process it takes to create their beloved games, as well as storyboard creating, story elements, problem solving, and computer engineering. They will be able to apply the principles of design and creativity using math and visual art skills, as well as skills they have learned about story structure and story elements. 

“One Blox At A Time encourages collaboration while guiding students through a design thinking process. It all starts with an idea, and prior to designing their game, students use a storyboard then use the Bloxels game board and blocks to create a video game based on a ͞fractured fairy tale they have written,” explained Naranjo. 

By using elements of engineering and design, the students will produce a fun video game that appeals to all ages. When the project is completed, students will understand the computer engineer and game design, and will be able to use the engineering design process to help solve game designing problems. 
“Computer software engineering is one of the most intuitive platforms in the engineering field. When students build games, they become the writers, artists, designers, and developers of their own interactive stories. As young engineers, students will use their creativity, intuition, and understanding of how video games are designed by Piecing Tales Together,” added the 3rd grade Gifted/Higher Achiever teacher.