St. Pius X College student present innovative gaming skills at Intel Summit




 Luke O'Kane, Mateusz Bartoszek (Year 13 Students), Mr G Duffy (Head of Post 16, St. Pius X College) and Mr D Arati (Education Manager, Intel Europe)


 Designing Interactive Computer Games using GameMaker

On 1st and 2nd December 2015, two Year 13 students from St. Pius X College, Mateusz Bartoszek and Luke O’Kane were selected by Intel (Europe) to present their gaming skills at the 12th Intel Education Summit in London. Mr Duffy (Head of Post-16 and Intel Education Ambassador) travelled with the students to showcase the work of St. Pius X College in this global forum.

Gaming in schools has been successfully embedded within the Northern Ireland curriculum for over ten years.   At the heart of developing interactive computer games lies the central pedagogy of intrinsic motivation and student empowerment.

Within St. Pius X College gaming opportunities are formally provided as part of GCSE ICT. Students complete a controlled assessment unit on designing, developing, producing a user guide and evaluating a computer game in eleven hours. Many students opt to develop their game upon a moral or social issue such as alcohol/drug abuse, eating disorders or even crime.

Planning effective games with compelling storylines is paramount. The storyboard should be a working document. Timeframes change, elements have to be reworked. The idea is that the storyboards that students come up with could be taken by a younger student who could build a game to the exact same specification. The great thing about gaming in the classroom is that it takes focus away from the teacher at the front. Once you show the students a simple demo they can just take over.

Luke clearly demonstrated how to create a new level for his Indiana Jones-themed maze game. Within literally minutes delegates had learnt enough that a member of the audience was able to come to the front and add his own elements to the level in order to finish it off.

Mateusz assuredly talked delegates through programming characters in his space game – Galactic Shooter. Delegates learnt about basic conditional programming, or getting the characters (the enemies) to behave in a certain way in reaction to other game elements. Don’t worry though – there’s no need to write code, although more advanced users can do so via GML – the game’s inbuilt language, Java or JavaScript.

The entire workshop was all accomplished within twenty minutes using a free piece of software. The games will make up around 30 per cent of each student’s mark for GCSE ICT. Even more impressively, students only have 11 hours of class time to finish them. This includes any creation or manipulation of artwork, which many students complete in Photoshop. Scope for problem solving and peer/self-evaluation is expansive.

The students also confidently completed a question and answer session from the workshop participants. All questions were answered independently, highly accurately and with ease. Undoubtedly these students have a bright STEAM future ahead in today’s digital economy. Additional photographs and a video summary can be found on




English Dutch French German Irish Italian Lithuanian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Spanish Swedish Welsh


Latest  News

Internet  Safety

Social  Media

Students & Parents

  • Follow the latest news on our Facebook page!

Students & Parents

  • Follow the latest news on our Twitter page!




Contact  Us

St Pius X College
59 Moneymore Road,

Co Derry
BT45 6HQ

  • Telephone: 028 796 32186
  • Fax: 028 796 32573
  • E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Web Address: