GREAT FALLS – A computer science teacher in Great Falls recently received a grant that will bring both video game design and computer programming to all three public high schools in the Electric City.
Stacy Dolderer, who currently teaches Computer Science Principles, Introduction to Computer Programming and Web Design at both C.M. Russell High School and Great Falls High school, is the recipient of the $10,000 Innovation Grant.
The grant is through the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation.
Stacy applied for this grant because the demand for students wanting to design video games in her classes is very high.
Stacy said, “The demand for people educated in computer science has continued to grow, yet the interest dies off quickly when students learn they won’t quickly be able to program video games.”
This project intends to use students’ passion for video games to help them engage in learning about computer science by creating games of their own.
Stacy intends to do this with the help of Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company, who has two video game studios in Great Falls.
Add-A-Tudez has been wanting to pay their knowledge forward for a long time in schools and to the public.
They have been working with teacher Stacy Dolderer for years.
Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company and Stacy both wanted to do something that would include all three public high schools in Great Falls, and with this grant, they will do just that.
The grant will pay for Add-A-Tudezs’ staff to teach their expertise of the video game world and will also help pay for game consoles, learning environment software and equipment to protect the systems for C.M. Russell High School, Great Falls High School and Paris Gibson Education Center.
Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company President Josh Hughes said, “The big thing that is important about teaching computer science in school in general, whether these kids go into game design jobs or not, is we have to accept the reality that all fields are moving towards incorporating computer science in one way or another.”
At the end of the year, students will be able to show off the skills they learned at a miniature expo-like setting.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News