Designing an edu-larp program for girls’ computing, engineering, and social-emotional learning

Three years ago I contacted the Social Emotional Technology Lab at University of California Santa Cruz to see if they would let me use some of their wearable technology for the Starship Selket larp I was doing (which is now on hiatus until further notice). I heard about them after they did the same thing for the Event Horizon larp (I played in the first episode). While in that conversation, I mentioned my work with The Game Academy, and thought maybe we could partner up on a project. About a month ago, this seed sprouted.

I am happy to announce that The Game Academy (a 501c3 educational non-profit) will be working with UCSC for three years to create a week-long edu-larp camp program for middle-school aged girls to increase motivation and comprehension of ubicomp, engineering, programming, and social-emotional learning. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded UCSC a $1.2 million dollar grant to develop this, with the end goal being a “camp in a box” program that any instructor/camp counselor can use for any middle grade student.

I am also pleased that I am the lead designer on this program. This is something I have hoped and worked for since I founded Seekers Unlimited, a (sadly) defunct 501c3 to make educational larps.

Here is some more information from UCSC.