A partnership with SPAWAR is helping to make learning fun at Oakbrook Middle School. We're in Dorchester district two for our cool school of the week.
It may look like play, but it's school work. It's called Dimension U. Math teacher Amy Baldwin says, “Dimension U is a video game that we get through a sponsorship from SPAWAR and it helps to fund the program for our seventh graders to play an online video game. They can play single player or multi player, and it helps them with their math skills.”
Dimension U video games focus on core skills and objectives that align to common core state standards and classroom instruction. Baldwin says, “You have to do it without paper and pencil, so you have to compute it all in your head and do a lot of estimation, so it helps students work on math skills at home and at school. I've actually had some parents say my son played this instead of their xbox or they played this instead of their playstation, and that's great.” Oakbrook has had the program for three years. Students come to computer lab once a month. Seventh grade student Jillian McKnight, “It's kind of like enjoying math, instead of going and writing problems on a math sheet you can play and it helps you learn and it also helps with your social skills as well. I think it's amazing, and it's really fun to play.”
SPAWAR sponsors the program for middle schools in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties. Randall Morrow, a project engineer at SPAWAR says, “Gaming is the wave of the future for a lot of the young kids. It's something that they do in their past time to settle down or just to have something to do for recreation. We wanted to combine that with something they love to do and still present an educational front to it to know they're still getting their studies in.” Principal Brion Rutherford says,”It's a unique partnership that we're able to get a part of. We've actually seen a pretty steep difference in math performance in our seventh grade group.” Students say they're school is cool. “It's really fun. They give you a lot of fun things and a lot of possibilities,” says seventh grade student Hombre Kennedy.
Oakbrook Middle School students are Lowcountry Math Counts champions, and placed tenth on the state level.
The Dimension U program is funded by the National Defense of Education Program. On April 26th, SPAWAR will hold it's second annual Dimension U competition for several middle schools in Lowcountry. Last year's winners received Ipads.
Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present Oakbrook Middle School with our Cool School award.
We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.