Nate Conroy | Teacherpreneur | STEMhero
Two games created in Milwaukee with the support of Water Council Members ABB Inc, Pentair, and Sage Water, will be showcased at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The games were created in October 2015 as part of a national competition called for by the White House, hosted locally at Ward 4.
The Great Lakes Great Games Hackathon, as it was known in Milwaukee, was possible thanks to a collaboration between leadership at MSOE, Launch Milwaukee and STEMhero. ABB led the sponsorship of the event along with Pentair, Sage Water, and the Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability. Heather Koehn, and Korinne Haeffel were local game judges.
Despite facing competition from some 400 individuals across ten sites, including hubs of game design such as San Francisco and New York, Milwaukee was over-represented among the national winners. In under thirty hours, participants created four games meant to engage the public around water and climate resiliency. During the event, experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology provided live coaching. Of the twelve winning games to be showcased at the Smithsonian, two were from Milwaukee. “Climate Cary”, created by students at Carmen and Washington High Schools in Milwaukee, won in the “Youth Paper Prototype” category, while “Three Degrees”, a collaborative board game created by a team including Michael Timm, Justin Hegarty, Dustin Verzal and Eric Kropp, took 2nd Place overall!
Milwaukee is well known as a hub for water related industry and research. This event provided a unique chance to highlight our region’s leadership in creatively engaging the public around water topics. In the end we impressed the national audience not just with the games that were created, but the diverse collaborative effort of Water Council Members behind the event. Efforts are underway to bring the game showcase to Milwaukee later this year.
Photos of the event, as well as video trailers of the games created, are available at www.greatlakesgreatgames.com
Nate Conroy is the teacherpreneur behind STEMhero. He collaborates with middle school teachers around the country to empower their students as authentic scientists and engineers, running data-driven experiments leveraging the water, gas, and electric meters already in their homes and schools.