By: Krystle Crossman
Children love to play games. It is one of the best parts about being a kid. Many children do not like sitting in a classroom while a teacher lectures about the rules of math or how to spell words. Why not take something that they love and incorporate it to transform something that they don’t? This is exactly what one school in New York City is doing and something that all home-school parents can do. Research has shown that making learning fun can help children retain information easily.
Quest to Learn located in NYC is no ordinary middle school. It was founded by members of the Institute of Play and was based around the concept that we live in a digital age and kids should be learning through electronics and games. They try to incorporate the essential topics that kids should be learning into board games and video games so that the kids can interact with one another and also will maintain an interest in what they are learning.
Some of the projects that the students are involved with are making board games, acting out skits, and making up games for their classmates to play. This helps them to use their creativity to interact with their peers and also teach them something about the assigned topics while having fun. I remember going into the classroom when I was a kid and thinking it was the best day ever when the Jeopardy board was up at the front of the classroom. It was a fun game that brought about teamwork and knowledge but it was still a game so there wasn’t as much pressure.
During an English class at Quest the students had to come up with questions to ask their peers and spark a debate. They would then score them based on the concise answers and the persuasiveness that was used during the debates. In a science class the students had to create a transport system to bring people to the center of the Earth without killing them. These types of challenges bring about discussion, teamwork, and thought. The school opened in 2009 and next year will have it’s first class of graduating seniors. There are more and more students enrolling or trying to enroll every day. They are now up to 560 students that want to learn while having fun.