Here is the team of teachers in the Capitol building, Elmwood teacher George Klink is pictured in the back row on the far right. Submitted photo
Here is the team of teachers in the Capitol building, Elmwood teacher George Klink is pictured in the back row on the far right. Submitted photo

Submitted by John Dollar, Education Specialist, WPT

MADISON, WI – On Thursday, August 3 and Friday, August 4, 2017 Elmwood Elementary School 5th grade teacher George Klink met with nine other Wisconsin teachers on the UW-Madison campus to work with experts in video games, history and curricular design to begin building a new digital learning tool for 4th graders. The project is the result of a partnership between Wisconsin Public Television (WPT), the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Field Day Lab, an educational game design team housed in UW-Madison. It was inspired by the Capitol Centennial. There were lots of breakouts and brainstorms, connections across several institutions, and hard work.

The new video game will center on the Capitol building as a setting for learning about Wisconsin history and government, and will be freely available online to all Wisconsin teachers and students when it launches in the summer of 2018. It is a new resource that will be used by Wisconsin history educators across the state for years to come.

Elmwood’s educator Klink and the rest of the teacher design team learned game design principles with David Gagnon, Program Director at Field Day Lab and reviewed major themes in Wisconsin Capitol history with Michael Edmonds, Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the author of the new book The Wisconsin Capitol: Stories of a Monument and its People before developing a series of game blueprints—the characters, stories, settings, and mechanics that players will encounter.

Klink sees excellent value in the future of video games designed for classroom use, saying the project is “an awesome idea…too much history would be lost without students being able to learn from a game about our State Capitol.”