Griffith’s Marilyn Brunk teaches Computer Science using video games!

Marilyn Brunk - 01.15.16Even as she takes class time at Griffith High School to be part of a global movement to inspire students about computer coding, 20- year math teacher and now Society Fellow Marilyn Brunk is the first to teach computer science using video games in Northwest Indiana and likely the state. While “Hour of Code” Week is practiced during December by millions of students worldwide to experience coding, Brunk is teaching students to think like programmers by personalizing their own video games. Taking a course about Scalable Game Design taught by Purdue Calumet Professor Diana Underwood – Gregg, this teacher experienced a new way to introduce computer science with video games.  Following the 5-day course, she approached Principal Brian Orikis and his administrative team and urged that Griffith be the first to offer this course that gives students a foundation in programming, a field that is expected to grow by 9 million jobs over the next decade. The school board approved the new course four days later! Starting the first class with 20 students in 2014, the course had 90 students signed up in 2015. In January, Brunk will teach three new courses featuring 3D-programming. Additionally, she will offer the introductory course to a third class bringing total enrollment to about 100 students. In addition to creating computer games, students use smart-phones to program robotic balls that roll and light up called Spheros during class.

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