Westfield High School teachers Elizabeth Piombino and Joseph Berardi, who were accepted as fellows in the Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest program, completed their six-day program this summer and are ready to apply their skills to the classroom. 

“The fellowship helped me focus on new ways to work with game-like learning and a student-centered design challenge in my social studies classroom,” stated Mr. Beradi.

The Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellowship, which provides the workshops and lodging free of charge for selected teachers, describes its program as “using the power of games, play, and digital tools to transform both teacher practice and student engagement.”

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Presenters from the Institute of Play and HistoryQuest led the summer workshops which were held in Princeton, NJ, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from July 16 to 21. 

“Unlike other professional development conferences that I have attended, there were very few lectures,” explained Ms. Piombino.  “Typically, the presenters provided a short explanation and then gave us a task to accomplish that integrated the game design principles and process; so most of our time was actually spent creating and engaging in the games we designed,” she added.

Piombino and Beradi were among 50 teachers selected from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  All of the participants play-tested the learning games with local students to gain valuable feedback on their work. The games and design challenges created by all of the fellows will be posted on the Institute of Play’s websites.