Game Jam

Game Building Challenge for Grades 3-12

Environmental Game Jam 2023

Game Jam 2023 has concluded. 

Registration was open to teachers beginning February 14, 2023

Game video submissions and descriptions were due on March 31, 2023.

Awards announced on April 25, 2023


Our congratulations go to these teams for their creative games! Thanks goes to their teachers and others that helped in the process.

1st place 3rd grade

Endangered Species Matching Game - Cedar River Academy at Taylor (Kacidee, Giovanna, Aire)


1st Place 5th grade

Birdyland - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Arianna, Kathryn, Sienna)

Water Player - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Miles, Noah, Paul)


2nd Place 5th grade

Infestation - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Connor, Aidden, Ryan)

Endangered - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Collin, Holden, Conner)


3rd Place 5th grade

Waterball – Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Dagny, Janett, Caleb, Jenna)

Endangered Animals – Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Cruz, Alivia, Eden)


Honorable Mention 5th grade

Wheel of Ospreys - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Clayton, Maddox, Grady O)

Wildlife Cornhole - Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary School (Max, Maci, Bentley)

Sorry for Endangering your Habitat – Cedar River Academy at Taylor Elementary (Aariah and Aleigha)


First Place Middle School

Conservation Digital Game - BCLUW Middle School (Ethan, Garett, Tommy, Olin)


Several University of Iowa College of Education students partnered with us in 2021-2022 and created the topics below. Click on the links below for details for teachers and students! 

When you click to go to their topic site, you are leaving this ICEC Game Jam site. There is a link in the footer of each site to get you back to the home page of this ICEC Game Jam site.

About Game Jam

The goal of a "Game Jam" is for a small group to get together and prototype game designs (online, pervasive, tabletop, or other formats). Participants share a common theme and create a working prototype in a short amount of time. The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking to develop small innovative games.  

Games are increasingly used in educational settings to help inspire curiosity, creativity, collaboration, optimism, and problem-solving skills among a wide variety of audiences. Serious games address real-world challenges, compress time and space, encourage systems thinking, and promote active engagement, making them particularly well suited to conservation education.


Your materials needs will vary depending on the type of game that your students will create. The following are some materials that may be helpful for a game jam:

Game Formats

Groups can develop analog or basic digital games. 

Analog game - The game should only use non-digital components. Typical examples include board games, card games, or role-playing games. Games must be in a playable form at the end of the event. The category is useful for either short or long events and is suited for locations with limited technology.

Basic digital game - Games can be remixed from an existing game in the community or use a digital game platforms (e.g., Scratch, Gamestar Mechanic, Pixel Press’ Floors and Bloxels, Roblox, GameSalad, or BreakoutEDU). Minecraft can be used if there is a clearly designed game experience within a Minecraft World and there is a clear goal for a player to achieve within the Minecraft world with clear constraints. Teachers can also use interactive fiction tools to create a text adventure based on the theme (e.g., Twine, InkleWriter, Episodes). 

Tips and Tricks for Jamming