Jennings Creek Elementary students learn to build video games

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Instead of playing video games, students at Jennings Creek Elementary School are learning how to build video games through coding.

Jennings Creek Elementary students have been working on a "choose your own adventure" game coding program that is science or social studies related

Students at Jennings Creek Elementary School have been working on coding projects since September and Thursday they held a showcase to show off their projects.

"They choose their main sprite and then they have blocks for motion, for sound, for background, and they are able to choose what character sprite they want and then all of the other blocks are scripted so you can tell your sprite how many spaces to move, if you want it to move up or move down or make a noise," said Ellaine Thornberry, teacher at Jennings Creek Elementary.

The students have been working on a "choose your own adventure" game coding program that is science or social studies related.

The students are given certain guidelines... but get to use their creativity to build and design each adventure game from scratch.

"Well, we have to start with backdrops and sprites and we basically have to code them to be able to move, to sense colors, and move," said student Joey Hickman. "What makes it good for learning for me is that it helps with problem solving and block based skills like time frames and transitions."

All grades at the school work on coding projects... the younger students use iPads and the older students use Chromebooks.

Teachers say their students have fun using the coding program and they see more engagement from students when learning coding.

"The kids are very involved, very hands on, very engaged, they talk to their friends about what they should do, the choices they should make. Even though it's an individual project the students do ask their friend for suggestions and advice," said Thornberry.

Next semester the school will expand on STEM education, and the students will work with robotics.