Ubisoft Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum are partnering to support the museum’s big Indigenous digital learning program.
Video games are educational Mom and Dad!
Ubisoft Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) announced today, they will be working alongside each other to provide more support in the ROM’s Indigenous educational program, “Hack the ROM”.
Hack the ROM is a five-month Indigenous knowledge sharing and game development program that runs in two separate halves of the school year for Ontario schools: September to January, and February to June. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public safety regulations, the program will be available virtually with additional learning support from the ROM.
The program is meant to allow students from Grades 4-10 to learn digital literacy skills in design and are tasked to create projects like games that contain Indigenous objects found in the ROM’s collection known as the Daphne Cockwell Gallery. What’s great about the learning experience is that the program is not exclusive to the students, but teachers can attend workshops to increase their knowledge and skills in regard to the program as well.
Where was this program when I was in school?! I would’ve nagged my teachers to take us in a heartbeat.
To make the experience even more enriching, the ROM has Indigenous Museum Educators (IMEs) and Maker Space Technicians (MSTs). They help teach students the importance of Indigenous history and develop their game development skills using game-building programs such as Scratch and and Twine. Ubisoft Toronto will be this year’s additional support in helping the students create their games this year.
The managing director at Ubisoft Toronto, Istvan Tajnay was thrilled to share their thoughts on the newfound partnership. “Programs like Hack the ROM are critical in teaching Indigenous history to students…it provides an opportunity for students to see how broad the world of game development is – whether it’s art, storytelling, level design or programming – and can inspire a new generation of game developers.”
Here’s a list of Ontario schools which participated in the program in 2019-2020:
- Bala Avenue Community School – York, ON
- Biidaaban Kinoomaagegamik School – Sagamok First Nation, ON
- Chester Elementary School – East York, ON
- Delores D. Echum Composite School – Moose Factory, ON
- George Webster Elementary School – East York, ON
- Gledhill Junior Public School – East York, ON
- Humewood Community School – York, ON
- Islington Junior Middle School – Etobicoke, ON
- Kâpapâmachakwêw (Wandering Spirit) School – Toronto, ON
- Lester B Pearson Elementary School – North York, ON
- McKellar Park Central Public School – Thunder Bay, ON
- McMurrich Junior Public School – Toronto, ON
- Orchard Park Public School – Orillia, ON
- Pope John Paul II Senior Elementary School – Thunder Bay, ON
- Ray Lawson Public School – Brampton, ON
- Secord Elementary School – East York, ON
- St. Luke School – Nepean, ON
- Wasaho Cree Nation School – Fort Severn, ON
As the world’s technology has been progressing at rapid lengths, I think this would be a great early learning opportunity that helps students understand how computer coding and programming work as they are likely to pursue future occupations that involve these skills. It’s also a fantastic way for students to connect with the roots of Canada’s Indigenous heritage and learn to understand the ways of life of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
Convince your teachers to join this fun program before it’s too late!