Make ’em Fresh: Student Response
Make ’em Fresh was presented to 6th grade students in small groups at the Ark Charter School. Immediately from the opening animation, the kids were intrigued by the graphics of the game. We also got many compliments on the name we chose, we believe this is because it was culturally in line with what the kids are comfortable with. The theme of designing sneakers appeared to appeal to both the boys and the girls, without one group being more interested than another. All of the kids could name the types of shoes and were excited at the idea of getting to design their own.
We had some of the kids work in pairs and others work on their own. When the students worked in pairs, we allowed them to go two times so that each student could design their own set of sneakers. This introduced a competitive aspect to the game. Each of the kids sold their shoes after designing them and then eagerly looked over to see how much their friend’s pair had sold for. Everyone was very engaged in the game.
When we presented the game to the students it was not yet complete, and they could only play one level of the game: the Vans sneakers. This was the only complaint we received about the game, the kids wanted to design more of the “cool” sneakers after they successfully sold their Vans.
We also received some feedback that the fractions were too easy. The students were solving the fractions based mostly on sight; they were looking to see which fraction was larger and then looking at the image to see which tube was larger. We did find one or two students counting the sections on the tubes to see which one had the right number of twelfths. However, we also had students who were simply guessing and if they got it wrong knew to just switch the order they had placed their colors in. In the future we might introduce a third color into the recipes so that there is not just a 50-50% chance of getting it right with guessing.
Overall the game was a huge success. The kids enjoyed the game, told us they had a lot of fun playing it and some even commented that they would like to have the game to play at home.