Museum of Science and History, I.M. Terrell students honored for work on social media game

December 10,2018

See the full Fort Worth Business Press article here.

Student engineers at I.M. Terrell Academy will join a handful of teams from across the country as finalists in the Facebook Engineer for the Week (EFTW) Achievement Challenge next spring at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The I.M. Terrell team is being recognized for the development of a video game designed to demonstrate the challenges of texting and driving. The Texting and Driving Simulator game was created through a partnership with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The Museum played a pivotal role in the EFTW project through organization and facilitation of the program at I.M. Terrell which challenged student teams to tackle social problems in their communities through the development of games.

Museum Chief Technology Officer Doug Roberts and Director of Scientific Presentation Morgan Rehnberg worked with the students over several weeks to share how technology and software development is used in real-world environments such as the Museum's Academy of Digital Learning. A total of 18 students were broken up into teams and tasked with building a video game using “Scratch”, a programming language developed by MIT to teach the basics of computer science. Over the course of three weeks, the teams, guided by Museum and I.M. Terrell staff, completed their projects.

"Without a doubt, the most impressive aspect about this experience was observing how much work had gone on between our group sessions and how engaged the students were,” said Roberts. “There were several times when I had no idea how a student team was going to deal with a problem and was blown away the next time we met where the students showed off a solution to their problem that they developed on their own time.”

The finalist team of four students will be heading to Facebook Headquarters in May to showcase the Texting and Driving Simulator at the EFTW Achievement Summit. The two-day event will include STEM workshops, a hackathon with Facebook engineers and a tour of the Facebook Campus.

EFTW teaches students the workflow of software development by giving them the tools to create their own simple projects.

Location Mentioned: I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual Performing Arts