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Winning teams, awards announced in Charleston

August 15, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Students and educators gathered in Charleston this weekend for a special awards ceremony.

Teams of students from across West Virginia, who have spent hundreds of hours over the course of the school year developing educational video games as part of the Globaloria program, learned who had won prizes in the annual Globey Awards.

"The Globeys enhance the rigorous nature of Globaloria; students are judged on the technical quality of their game, its educational content, the quality of the original artwork and animations, teamwork, research skills and the overall production process," said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, founder and president of the World Wide Workshop, the inventors of Globaloria and the Globeys.

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Tygarts Valley Middle School team Leenette Fincham, Lindsay Fincham and Alexis Arbogast earn finalist honors in the civics and news literacy category. The category had 118 entries statewide.

Three teams from Randolph County were recognized as finalists in the competition.

In the science, technology, engineering and math category, the team of Tyler Gum and Jacob Currence at Tygarts Valley High School created Finding Mr. X. Their game challenges players to find a lost man in Cold War-era New York City by solving a variety of math problems. Cody Miller, Daniel Toney and Wesley Toney from Randolph Technical Center earned honorable mention for their game Aust(in) Space, which teaches astronomy.

In the civics and news literacy category, finalists Caleb Cragg, Madelyn McCauley and Kelsi Reed from Tygarts Valley High School were honored for It's A Jungle Out There! Players try to rescue endangered species in Eastern Africa from poachers, starvation and harsh environmental conditions. The finalist team of Alexis Arbogast, Lindsey Finchman and Leenette Finchman from Tygarts Valley Middle School created Fishie Friends. Their game engages players to learn about preventing water pollution as they navigate the ocean in the character of a fish.

Teachers Diane White at Tygarts Valley High School and Christina Waybright at Randolph Technical Center teach Globaloria in game design courses as part of the career and technical curriculum. At Tygarts Valley Middle School, Mollie Ferguson delivers the Globaloria curriculum as an academic elective.

"We congratulate our student game designers on developing innovative instructional games," said Deborah Super, director of partnerships and operations for Globaloria. "Their teachers have not only instructed but also inspired these outstanding creative thinkers. Principals Don Johnson and Steve Wamsley and Superintendent (Jim) Phares have supported the Globaloria program in Randolph County to provide students with skills to participate in global technology."

Judges included regional and national leaders in business, policy and education such as U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Michael Levine, executive director of the Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop; Gayle Manchin, former first lady of West Virginia and vice president of the West Virginia Board of Education; Former West Virginia Gov. and President of the Alliance for Education Excellence Bob Wise; Carrie Ray-Hill, curriculum coordinator at iCivics; and Erik Huey, senior vice president for government affairs of the Entertainment Software Association.

"This year's finalists and winners in the West Virginia Globeys showcased outstanding student creativity and innovation in STEM subjects as well as in civics and news literacy, which are the most important study areas for our students to master. We have been using Globaloria in the past five years as a vehicle for learning these challenging topics in our schools," Manchin said.

Globey award ceremonies have taken place throughout the country this spring and summer. The program is an initiative of the World Wide Workshop, a nonprofit organization supported by the Knight Foundation, Google, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the AMD Foundation, state and county departments of education, the Entertainment Software Association, Adobe, Konami Digital Entertainment, Cisco, Electronic Arts and a number of other partners.

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