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EvanSTEM, a District 65-sponsored initiative, together with the Evanston Public Library, YMCA MetaMedia, and Family Focus, will host the 8-bit Challenge Showcase live on Zoom from 10 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 12.

The event celebrates Evanston’s video-game creators and their amazing work in game design and coding.

More than 60 students in fourth through eighth grades have been working and learning since early October designing layouts, animating custom characters, and coding game rules.

EvanSTEM director Kirby Callam said, “Get ready to have your mind blown with these ingenious students and all of the amazing and challenging arcade video games they created.”

Carla Stone, sixth-grade science teacher at Nichols School, will host the Showcase, and District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton will play a game or two.

Interviews with some of the student coders will highlight their inspirations, influences, and coding skills.

At the showcase, attendees can hear from these students and visit the online arcade page to play some games, hear about EvanSTEM’s equity-driven marketing and program approach for the 8-bit challenge to engage underrepresented students in STEM, and learn about the  next Citywide challenge to start in January, the Cardboard Carnival.

Fifteen prizes will be awarded in a raffle. The link to the showcase can be found by clicking here.

Feedback From Participants and Parents

? Things that take a long time to make are worth the wait, and that coding can be fun if you just try. – Beatrix, Kingsley Elementary School

? I have learned about ingenuity, as well as the power of asking for help and advocating for myself. – Natalie, Nichols Middle School

? I learned how to code a game with a timer and how to make tilemaps. – Chansa, King Arts (K-8)

? This event has been so great. My kids have really enjoyed creating their games and talking about them at home. — Erin W. parent of two participants

? I just wanted to extend our gratitude for creating this fun and engaging challenge. It’s been a great challenge for my son and some much needed positive fun. — Amber R.