GameDesk Celebrates First Year at PlayMaker School, Introduces Transformed Classrooms

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With Support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and New Roads, The New Reinvented Learning Space Will Be Unveiled at May 11th Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

21st Century Maker Space at PlayMaker School at New Roads

The spaces we inhabit have a profound effect on how we inhabit them. We have a responsibility to students to create a vibrant exploratory space for young people to discover, play, build, and learn.

GameDesk, the gaming education non-profit that rethinks learning through playing, making, and discovery, today announced the launch of new spaces at its PlayMaker School, a life-reflective revolution in education designed to prepare students for 21st century success. The school is realized with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and launched in partnership with New Roads. The new school space was conceived by Lucien Vattel, the GameDesk design team, Gensler, The Third Teacher+ group led by Trung Le, and construction led by Steve Lappin.

Student showcases, tours of the space, learning activities, and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place from 11am-4pm on Saturday, May 11, at PlayMaker School at New Roads located at 3131 Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404. For more information email: contactus(at)gamedesk(dot)org

“The spaces we inhabit have a profound effect on how we inhabit them. We have a responsibility to students to create a vibrant exploratory space for young people to discover, play, build, and learn,” said Lucien Vattel, Executive Director at GameDesk, Founder and Co-Director of PlayMaker School. “This is the future of learning and it’s now a working model for everyone to come see and participate in. I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished this year. You’re not going to believe what you’re going to see.”

PlayMaker School launched in the fall of 2012 and incorporates four years of GameDesk research and development in play and tech infused curriculum. “Forty years in the wilderness of education and I finally see the promised land,” said Joe Wise, Co-Founder of PlayMaker School and Assistant Head of New Roads School for Curriculum and Assessment. “PlayMaker School at New Roads promises effective reform through assessed play and student guided learning.”

GameDesk partnered with global design firm Gensler to realize three distinct creative spaces. First there is DreamLab, a bright world of sloping whiteboard walls where every inch of space can be drawn upon, used for ideation and brainstorming. Next is the spacious Adventure Room. With four plasma flat screens, a motion-capture system, and a mounted floor projector, this room is bursting with 21st century technology that fascinates students and foretells the future of learning. And the final room is the Maker Space. Students get to be hands-on, wielding drills and soldering irons, or designing projects on the computer to then print using the Makerbot 3D printer.

“Gensler collaborated closely with the GameDesk team to transform the traditional classroom and revolutionize the learning experience,” said David Herjeczki, Design Director at Gensler. “Our goal as a team was to create three innovative spaces, enabling stimulating, hands on, immersive learning environments, designed to capture the imagination.”

“The Third Teacher+ of Cannon Design team is founded on the idea that the learning environment should respond to the dynamic and complex nature of learning,” said Trung Le, Lead Designer for Cannon Design’s education group. “We are humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with GameDesk, transforming STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning through empowerment, play, and a deep sense of curiosity.”

Student exhibitors from PlayMaker will be on hand to showcase learning experiences from throughout the year, so get ready for food, games, photo booth fun, giant Aero wings, SMALLab wonders, Dream Lab graffiti, and wild maker activities!

About GameDesk
GameDesk is a 501(c)3 nonprofit research, game development, and outreach organization that seeks to rethink learning through play, making, and interaction. It evolved out of seven years of research at the University of Southern California with a mission to transform the learning experience, help close the achievement gap, and deeply engage students in learning core curriculum.

To learn more visit our website or blog, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

About Gensler
Gensler is a global design firm, with 43 offices and 3,500 employees worldwide. Gensler helps clients succeed by focusing on the needs of the people they serve, whether they are employees, customers, sports fans, students, passengers or guests. Founded in 1965, Gensler has deep expertise in design and architecture across 20 practices, including commercial office buildings, professional services, retail, aviation, planning and urban design, entertainment and hospitality, sports stadia and education facilities.

For more information, visit our website or blog, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

About The Third Teacher+
The Third Teacher+ is an educational design consultancy within the global architecture firm, Cannon Design. It is a multidisciplinary group that looks at the whole picture, the whole ecology of learning. The Third Teacher+ designs learning environments and uses design thinking to strategize with clients’ cultural, pedagogical and organizational change.


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