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Cracking the code: Apeejay School International student Ria Sarin designs a game for young learners  

The story-game allows a player to make decisions that map out the course of the game

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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The popular idiom is apt for Ria Sarin’s invention as she aims to stimulate young minds like her through her game. How so? The situation-based game, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ is the best way to allow students to learn quick decision-making. Daughter of Ms. Niti Sarin, a computer professional with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Mr. Mohit Sarin, project manager with P Square Toll Solution India Private Limited, Ria, a Primary-Year-Programme student, likes to spend her time drawing, learning about science and perfecting her coding skills. In an interview, the mother and daughter talk about the game. Edited excerpts:

How did you come up with the idea for the game?

Ria: Ekta Ma’am at school, who is teaching me coding, inspired me. I myself enjoy playing online games such as RoBlox and Minecraft. The Minecraft game is all about creativity where one can go for adventures. With that, I like to read books: the Thea Stilton series and Tinkle. For my game, I combined the two.

Can you explain how the game works?

Ria: Yes. In the game, the player’s mission is to find hidden treasure. So, it begins with asking players what would they do if they were home? Would they play a video game or take an adventure trip? Let’s say, they choose to go on an adventure trip, then they come to Iceland. Once they click to walk on the ice, they have to raft across the river. They can choose to go via a wooden raft to reach the next level.

There they would come across a cave with two doors, one green and the other blue. Which colour does one pick? Let’s say red is chosen. Unfortunately, it’s a cave full of fire. So, the game is over. This is how a player can decide based on different situations and the game storyline continues.

For the uninitiated, is coding language difficult to learn?

Ria: Yes, it can be. Especially, if you are stuck on something, it takes a while to understand and resolve the issue.

Ms. Niti: Usually, coding for students is taught on two software systems: Scratch and Code.org. At school, Ria is learning Code.org. Another version to check out is Scratch Junior for beginners. On that, one can try and experiment with simple blocks. Many users also share their projects there. It is a great platform to learn.

Why did you choose Apeejay School International for your daughter?

Ms. Niti: I recently moved to India from the United States. While I was looking to enroll Ria at a school that follows the IB curriculum, my sister recommended Apeejay to me. After that, we took the written test and interview, and Ria was selected for the school. She has been enrolled for 5 months now and I have had a very good experience with the school. Students are taught to be more hands-on at ASI. Besides academics, the school organises a lot of activities and encourages students to participate in it. I think such events are a great confidence-booster for students.

What is your future aspiration?

Ria: I want to become an environmentalist. I am curious about nature, insects, and plants. I like to read and study about them as well.

Check the game here: https://studio.code.org/projects/spritelab/tG_orWRDvwZJ8zp4H2oW0rMIUuqfwRI0N47ZTbL0qa0

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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