Children from a Fenham primary school have been helping to create a new maths game app. The Year 4 pupils from English Martyrs’, part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, worked with digital production company PROTO to assist in the development of ‘Race to Infinity’, a digital, maths-based game for primary-aged children.
Led by teacher, Jayne Cook, whose brother-in-law works at PROTO, the youngsters play-tested the game before providing feedback and spending time at the company’s state-of-the-art studio. Mrs Cook said: “The children had the exciting opportunity to carry out some market research on a maths game. They learned how to play the game on iPads, which required a lot of mathematical skill, and then answered questions about how they thought the game could be improved and what features they liked or disliked about it.”
The young play testers then visited PROTO’s Gateshead headquarters, where they were able to experience technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Continued Mrs Cook: “PROTO invited the whole of Year 4 – 60 children – to participate in a focus group at their innovation centre, where they showcased some of the technologies on offer in their Immersive Lab. They looked at how Netflix, Disney+ and film companies create TV and film content by using games engine technology in a virtual production studio. The children had a go at inventing their own virtual reality applications and pitched their ideas to the team. They were blown away by the experiences and they were all keen to fill out application forms for jobs when we left!”
Alex Cook, Head of Immersive at the company, commented: “This has been an exciting collaboration between English Martyrs’ School and PROTO, supporting the development of a cutting-edge, maths-based, mobile app. The next phase of its development has been shaped by the children’s ideas and input. PROTO was thrilled to host the students at our studio, to showcase emerging digital technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, and provide inspiration for future projects. We are delighted with the outcome and proud of the students’ impeccable behaviour and level of interest in the project.”
“I loved everything about PROTO,” said pupil Tommy. “I loved finding out how movies are made. It made me feel excited knowing that when I grow up, I could work there!”
Classmate Scarlett agreed: “It was cool how I was part of the making and shaping of the game, and my thoughts and opinions are helping the game be even better for other children.”
Other participants included Evie who said: “I really liked the Race to Infinity game, because it helped me do maths while having fun at the same time,” and Jack, who added: “Going to PROTO was very good because it was fun and we got to use the VR headsets.”
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