Fun and games for young and old

Primary school students have been testing interactive computer games they’ve developed on ECH clients at a community event in Adelaide.

Primary school students have been testing interactive computer games they’ve developed on ECH clients at a community event in Adelaide.

Year 5 and 6 students have been connecting with participants of the South Australian retirement living and home care provider’s Community Day Program at the Cumberland Park Community Centre in the city’s north.

The Mitcham Primary School students were at the centre as part of a two-term science, technology, engineering, and mathematics intergenerational project which had them tasked with creating augmented reality games specifically aimed at older people.

“The significance of this STEM primary school project extends beyond the classroom,” says ECH chief executive Claire Scapinello. “The interactive games have been thoughtfully designed to actively encourage movement among older individuals, which is pivotal for their overall wellbeing.”

Mitcham Primary School principal Scott Greenshields said the STEM project is benefiting participants – known as the “Cumby Crew” – and students alike. “The benefit for our students is engaging with senior people to showcase their projects and to receive feedback that will allow them to look at their programs and adjust accordingly.”

Claire Scapinello

Ms Scapinello agrees that both the littlies and the oldies have something to gain from the initiative. “While the primary school students have been able to fine-tune their technological skills, the Cumby Crew have been presented with an exciting window into the future.”

The Cumberland Community Centre is a partnership between ECH – which stands for Enabling Confidence at Home – and the City of Mitcham to encourage people who may be experiencing dementia or memory loss to try new activities such as arts, crafts, cooking, gardening, music and dance.

Ms Scapinello said the activities help participants build meaningful connections. “Each week, the ECH Community Connections Team ensures bonds are built and friendships are formed.”

Main image: primary schooler showcases their computer game to an ECH client

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