Board Game Bonanza at Westfield State University

Board Game Bonanza for Students & Teachers
In Westfield on May 2nd, 2012

Some examples of the games include: “Follow the Pi”, an interactive board game that reviews basic algebra and invites students to move and learn through a Pi shaped board. Another group has developed the “Healthy Hungry Market” in which students learn about the value of money and healthy nutritional habits. Board Game topics vary from Language arts to Science to Math to Spanish to Health. One student from Geography and Regional Planning developed a type of “Westfieldopoly” which will provide an interactive means to introduce new students to the campus and community.

Students at Westfield State University present the Board Game Bonanza!

The event, which will take place on Wednesday, May 2nd from 1:30-3pm,  features student-designed board games that teach players about a subject within typical classroom content (think state learning standards) and incorporate physical movement at the same time!  Some of the games include an algebra review game with a pi-shaped board, Westfieldopoly, and a game about the value of money and how it affects making healthy food choices.

Students and classroom teachers attending the event will have the chance to play multiple games, and will be able to learn not only about the topics covered in the games, but will gain an awareness of the level of thought expected and produced in college, and can learn about creative ways of expressing knowledge (specifically, through games).

The event will take place in the Woodward Center Lounge on the Westfield State University campus.  For more info call 413-572-5368. Free event, but pre-registration is required.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Alan Bates]

Diamond Bridge: Locally Made, Locally Played

Diamond Bridge: Locally Made Board Game

Come play Diamond Bridge at the Forbes Library in the Community Room on Monday, May 24th at 7pm. Free and open to the public. (Pictured here: Andy Grant holding his locally made board game, Diamond Bridge)

If you’ve ever dreamed about creating a board game and then decided it’s not possible to compete with Milton Bradley, take heart. Andy Grant, who moved to the Pioneer Valley a few years ago, not only created Diamond Bridge, he also had it produced…yes…locally…by the United Paper Box Company in Holyoke, MA.

Andy and friends will demonstrate how this fascinating game is played at several local gatherings, including the Forbes Library in Northampton on Monday, May 24th, to which you’re invited as a participant or an onlooker.

Diamond Bridge is a strategic board game for two to four players ages 8 and up. Andy Grant explains that, “Diamond Bridge is in the lineage of a game invented by Piet Hein in 1942 at the University of Copenhagen. In 1948, a similar game was introduced at Princeton University by John Nash, a Nobel Laureate mathematician and subject of the book, A Beautiful Mind. Reading a description in the book inspired me to make a board to play at home with my children.

The board has a diamond-shaped grid, four corner pits and gems of two colors. Users say, “It’s Zen-like.” “The blue and green remind me of flowing water.” “It doesn’t take a lot of instruction. The learning happens as you play the game.”

“In recent years, I developed a series of prototypes and an updated set of rules based on extensive play testing. My box design and name, Diamond Bridge, reflect a core strategy of visualizing diamond shapes to span across the board. The game concept is basic-players try to bridge sides of their color. It’s fun to play ‘right out of the box.’ For the serious player the complexity of Diamond Bridge soon becomes apparent. Mastering the game requires a sense of balance, spatial reasoning and sustained focus. Enjoy!”

Come play Diamond Bridge at the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA on Monday, May 24th at 7pm. This program is free and open to the public and will meet in the Community Room.

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