Three family expos in one this weekend

Oh Baby! “Family” Expo, Toy & Game and Party Expo brings over 150 exhibitors featuring the latest products and services for Hawaii’s young families: expectant moms and families with children aged 12 and under.

One of the services at the Toy & Game Expo will be a game workshop that uses video games to teach concepts.

Shane Asselstine, Techonology Integration Specialist at Momilani Elementary School, will run that workshop. He’s the curriculum and technology coordinator at Momilani Elementary School in Pearl City. Asselstine teaches 240 students each week from third to sixth grade, with a focus on technology, computer science, digital citizenship and CCSS through game-based learning (GBL).

Game-based learning, he explains, is just what it sounds like. “You use game play or game mechanics to teach concepts. For example, using Angry Birds to teach about trajectory, velocity, or forces.”

He uses games like MinecraftEdu, KerbalEdu, and Contraption Maker as a primary tool in game-based learning. “We explore a wide range of projects, from designing a zoo to creating 3D virtual world digital stories. Students are put in situations where they are expected to collaborate to accomplish the goals. They will learn about real world problems by participating in these virtual environments.”

Asselstine says GBL is so effective as a teaching tool because it brings engagement and motivation to the classroom, providing a more interactive experience where learners are drawn into the virtual environment. “It provides opportunities to learn about topics that may be cost-restrictive or unsafe in a traditional classroom. GBL encourages students to take a risk, make mistakes, and then persevere and succeed.”

Asselstine will be running several workshops in which children ages five through ten, parents, teachers, and caregivers can experience GBL using Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program, and Contraption Maker.

The three expos are Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center. General admission is $5.50; children five and under are free. More at www.ohbabyfamilyexpo.com

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