UMBC's 'Team Huebotics' is going to the gaming Final Four - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 3, 2015 7:58 am

UMBC’s ‘Team Huebotics’ is going to the gaming Final Four

The four-person team behind the puzzle game “HueBots” will be competing at the Microsoft Imagine Cup in San Francisco.

UMBC's Team Huebotics, left to right: Jasmin Martin, Erika Shumacher, Tad Cordle and Michael Leung.

(Photo by Nicholas Deroin)

This weekend, attention will be on college basketball’s Final Four and its many one-and-doners. But one university president is promoting a lesser-known college championship that has more implications for learning.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is sending a video game team to the Microsoft Imagine Cup national finals next month in San Francisco. The four-person squad made a game called HueBots, where players create rainbow-colored robots, and use them to solve puzzles. They’ll face three other teams, with a chance to go to an international competition if they win.

In a guest column for CNBC, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski points out that it’s a true STEAM team, as two members are computer science majors and the other two are studying visual arts. He also points out that video games can be effective teaching tools. HueBots’ mentors created one such video game to teach Baltimore Civil War history involving a fox and the Pratt Street Riot.

“Not only does designing the game require students to grapple with history, it helps demystify computer science for students who might otherwise have shied away from it,” Hrabowski writes.

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