By: Eileen Jevis

Twenty-five students, ages 14-17, will spend the day at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse, on Thursday, Aug. 29, to explore the world of science and technology through game creation and design. The students participated in the CNY Works Summer Youth Program. At five exhibitions throughout the museum, teams facilitated by a Game Designer’s Guild volunteer will create non-digital, game-based experiences, learning 21st-century skills in the process. Science and technology-based information about the exhibition will be provided by MOST subject matter experts throughout the day.

Scott Nicholson, associate professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool), and the director of the Because Play Matters game lab, will lead the event. Nicholson says the pressure of creating a game in a short time frame forces participants to develop communication and teamwork skills while using a rapid prototyping and redevelopment model that is valuable for many careers.

In order to create a game, participants will have to combine creativity, design, art and storytelling with logistical thinking, technical writing, probability and the development of resource management systems,” he says. “For game experiences in the MOST, participants will also have to take into account the constraints of creating a game that can be learned quickly and completed in a short period of time while also being meaningful and scientifically sound.”

The project is the initial pilot program in a larger strategic plan to encourage educational and career attainment through game development and game play. “The goal of the game jam is to positively impact the participants’ interest in science and science careers by actively engaging them in this innovative and constructive event,” says Karen DeJarnette, director of Syracuse University’s Talent and Education Development Center.

Larry Leatherman, president of the MOST, adds, “Piloting this program supports the mission of the MOST and helps to build interest in science in our region’s youth. We are excited to bring this program to our venue.”

Information about the MOSTGame and teams’ progress will be posted in the museum so visitors can learn about the process. During the award ceremony at the end of the day, groups will present their games to participants, staff and visitors who can play the games that were created.

The MOSTGame is collaboration between the MOST, the Game Designers’ Guild, the iSchool and the Talent and Education Development Center of University College. The program was funded by a grant from CNYWorks.

For additional information about the program, contact DeJarnette at or 315-559-6634.