Mentorship and Judging
Each year, all teams entering the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge are required to have a mentor – a nominated adult (18+) that will agree to act as a contact point between the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge Administration team and the students.
The role of the Team Mentor is:
- To register their team(s) and the students within each team.
- To provide support and advice, encourage learning, and mediate any issues that might arise as their team’s progress through the game design process.
- To take responsibility for submitting the finished game and completed GDD (Game Design Document)
- Provide a reliable point of contact for communications between the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge and the participating students.
Teachers and parents make ideal mentors and are well placed to facilitate the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge. A mentor can be shared by more than one team, meaning that a single teacher can exist as the mentor for multiple teams of students (i.e. a class).
Team Mentors do not need to be experienced game designers or professionals in the IT area. Feedback from Mentors in previous years tells us that the students are more than likely quite knowledgeable about their chosen game design platform, and they will problem solve what they need to. The mentoring for most students will be in supporting their creative process, helping them to scale a design back to something they can manage in their available time. Reminding them that simple ideas done well are generally the way to go.
A key part of the mentoring role is supporting them in the project management of their game. It cannot be stressed enough that students should aim to finish with a good amount of time to test their game before submission, in order to have a game that plays for the judges. If we can’t play it, we can’t judge it and it will be knocked out in Phase I.
The Australian STEM Video Game Challenge judging panel is comprised of volunteers from the education, game development and technology sectors.
Each year games are judged in a three-phase process.
- Phase I – does it play? Is there a GDD?
- Phase II – judges receive a random selection of playable games and complete judging against the STEM Video Game Challenge judging criteria.
- Phase III – industry-only judges receive a random selection of finalist games and complete judging against the STEM Video Game Challenge judging criteria.
If you are interested in assisting/participating as a judge – we would love to hear from you. Please find out more from our Volunteer Opportunities page.