The Source – Week Two

Week 2 of The Source emphasized science, reproductive health and community. "Adia" introduced students to a second set of puzzles and another letter from her father. Because Adia's dad can't be there for her, he wants to make sure she learns to be a safe and healthy person, and uses her knowledge to help those around her.

This week, The Source participants acted as scientists, researching and finding accurate information about and resources for treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and brainstorming ways to help the community of "Hexacago". The week's goals were to show a variety of perspectives with which to approach health care issues, especially on a local level; to introduce youth to the logic and critical thinking inherent to the sciences; and to present fun and engaging games with real-world applications.

On Tuesday, students played two games dealing with the origin and spread of disease. In the outdoor activity "Fever Break" (a health-oriented version of Capture the Flag), youth broke into teams to dodge infectious mentors. Players then moved indoors for "Plagues, Trains and Automobiles" using deductive reasoning, playing cards, and the map of "Hexacago" introduced in Week 1 to track "infections" rampaging through their teams.

Wednesday morning, youth participated in interactive sessions on citywide epidemiology, health care public policy, sexual rights, and STI treatment with working professionals. In the afternoon, students "role-played" by using their newfound knowledge to address "ripped from the headlines" public health problems and give comprehensive pitches for funding.

Thursday was the culminating game of the week: "Infection City", where students were tasked with eliminating two diseases that spread according to very specific patterns. Youth had to strategize and plan ahead, analyzing the spread of the diseases, and creating solutions involving a combination of prevention and treatment. "Infection City" led participants to a website with the next week's set of puzzles.

The overarching theme of Week 2's activities was giving players a multifaceted view of health care, showing youth the intersection of critical thinking and creativity in science, and the field's vast career potential. Students sharpened their skills in logic, strategic planning, and interdisciplinary communication, especially around sensitive topics. Week 3 will focus on math, cryptography and preventing youth violence.

"One thing I didn't know [before this week] is that diseases can spread very fast and if nothing is done about it, many people can be affected and hurt. You have to have a certain strategy first, to prevent the disease from spreading." - The Source participant

We invite you to follow The Source on social media!

  • Follow Game Changer Chicago on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, for up-to-the-minute photos, videos and updates from the players
  • Check out our YouTube channel to hear from Adia herself
  • Tune in to our Source developers' blog on Tumblr to learn about the game through the eyes of its designers and creators. See a weekly recap of games and puzzles, and try your hand at solving them!

The Source was created as part of the Chicago Summer of Learning by Ci3's Game Changer Chicago Design Lab. Program partners include: Museum of Science and Industry, Digital Youth Network, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hive Learning Network, Mozilla, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, and One Fund Chicago.

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