Art meets computer coding at Hanover Park High School | Hanover Eagle News

EAST HANOVER TWP. – What began as two Hanover Park High School teachers sharing a classroom at the start of the school’s third marking period turned into a collaboration where students created interactive computer games.

Math teacher Matt Meyerkopf and art teacher Suzanne Apicella gave members of the Hanover Park Regional High School District Board of Education and administrators a peek at the students’ work during the regular board meeting Wednesday, May 24.

Their presentation included a visual component as Meyerkopf played some of the games for board members on his laptop. Some of the students’ artwork was also on display on a panel at the meeting.

Apicella said the project began as a “happy accident,” when Meyerkopf’s computer science class used the computers in their shared classroom while she was grading artwork at the start of the school’s third marking period in January.

“We kind of just started talking about a really neat way to incorporate art and math together,” she recalled.

Working With Coding

The project has its origins in a program called Greenfoot, an educational computer coding application that allows users to build games, simulations and computer graphics, according to Meyerkopf.

“It does a really good job of not only teaching the students about a lot of the fundamentals of computer science and how the breakdowns are, but it’s also a lot of fun,” he remarked. “They have a lot of fun doing it.”

Meyerkopf explained to the board that characters in the games are called “objects” and all the activities going on in the game are “events” that students work on using computer coding.

It was up to the students to “write” the coding in the games, while simultaneously understanding how the system works. The end results, he…

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