Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company and Team KAIZEN won a grant from HASTAC and The MacArthur Foundation to develop educational levels using the PlayStation 3 game LittleBigPlanet 2 (www.littlebigplanet.com). The levels created by the team have since went live among the over five million user created levels that are already free to play in the LittleBigPlanet Community.
Because of those levels, the group was subsequently asked by Montana's Office of Public Instruction (OPI) to give a presentation in Helena earlier this year. Among those in attendance were members of Great Falls Public Schools and Sunnyside Elementary. After the presentation they spoke to the team, which inevitably lead to the formation of a test group of 8 students (4 boys, 4 girls and ranging in grades 4-6) called the Great Falls Public Schools' LittleBigPlanet Club.
The group of children are learning how to create content for LittleBigPlanet 2 for 2 days out of the week, with a third day dedicated to researching topics related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and History. This is so that the group can be split into two teams (two girls and two boys) that will each build one level based on what they've learned. These levels will be shown off live at the 2012 STEM Expo in Great Falls in April.
"We're very excited to be teaming up with GFPS and Sunnyside on this project," said Josh Hughes in an email to GP. "We feel one of the best ways for educational content and games to come together is through games like LittleBigPlanet that support user-created content. It's been a crazy start–the kids are jumping in with both feet and researching their topics ways most kids hate to do, because they're not doing it for a book report anymore they're looking for inspiration for their LittleBigPlanet projects!"
You can check out this local news report on the program here.
You can learn more about the work that Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company does by visiting www.addatudez.com.