Eighteen Indigenous school kids were hand chosen by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) after submitting a written application pitching ideas for an online game to make maths and science fun.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to work with Google ... so it’s been great to see these kids buy into the concept, and really start to lead the direction of this story as well”, says AIME CEO and Founder Jack Manning-Bancroft.
AIME made it all possible by winning a $500,000 grant from Google as part of the Google Impact Challenge. A project that aims to spark the interest of students in maths and science.
And today these students pitched their ideas to the world’s biggest search engine.
“Excited and bit nervous,” says 14-year old Tyron Hennam from Balling High School about his imminent pitch.
“We’ve been practicing and practicing. I hope [students] will find maths and science fun [through the game],” he says.
The students were mentored all week from the best game designers and computer engineers in the business. Google also worked with the students to help bring out their concepts.
“I think seeing these year nine students pitch these ideas is a great way to see the talent that can be there,” Google spokesman Shane Treeves told NITV News.
The students were split up into teams of four to five, and presented their best ideas to a panel of judges who included representatives from Google, ABC’s Good Game, Mode Games and Western Sydney Year 9 AIME student, Jandamarra Smith.
The winning team, The Second Chancers, created a soccer game concept that brings kids together from all different races and backgrounds. Players must correctly answer maths and science questions to advance to the next level.
The judges loved the concept so much that they were announced the winners.
“We thought it was really clever… uniting the team and having the reward of playing the game. It was a game I wanted to play,” said judge Stephanie Bendixsen from ABC’s Good Game.
“We’d like to thank AIME, Google and everyone that helped out to give us this amazing experience,” said Christian Townsend of the winning team.
The game will be released at the end of the year.