On December 5-6, the BeginIT Game Fest was held for project participants in Kazakhstan. This event was organized jointly with our project partner, the Astana Hub International Technopark for IT Start-Ups. It was attended by 38 top students from 12 regions across the country, based on their final rankings on the platform and an additional selection process.
The festival included a visit to the country's largest university and IT hub, as well as lectures and master classes from international game development companies.
On the first day, the kids visited the robotics and 3D-print laboratory, the library, and other facilities at Nazarbayev University. Afterward, at the Astana Hub offices, specialists from the Lerna company told the youngsters about professions within the GameDev Industry and raffled off a one-year tuition course at the online Geek School. The Mytona team specialists shared the ins and outs of setting up a GameDev company. After that, participants visited the Big Dream Lab interactive booths featuring augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) technologies, as well as the Animo booth demonstrating technologies for controlling a virtual character by using mimicry and movements.
"I came here from the Zhambyl district of the Zhambyl region. I found out about the BeginIT project through the iQanat Foundation. I passed the selection process and was invited to attend the Game Fest in Astana. What impressed me the most is the tour around Nazarbayev University and the interactive booths," commented Ayaulym Yrikbek, one of the participants.
The second day of the fest was largely focused on hands-on activities. The kids took part in a series of workshops. With the Mytona team running the Game Design Fundamentals workshop, participants devoted their time to breaking down game design cycles and creating their own games. Animo's Digital Illustration workshop showed the attendees how to create digital illustrations. Alexei Shegaj, CEO of iDos Games, spoke at the lecture "Creating a Game. From Concept to Launch", explaining the process of creating a game from a product perspective. At another lecture, "Professions in the Metaverse," by Vladimir Barinov, Head of Vardix, the students learned what professions will be in demand in the Metaverse.
Experts from the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) conducted a four-hour intensive class, "Innovative Methods for Teaching Informatics," for teachers and instructors.
“I work as a computer science teacher in the Uspensky district of the Pavlodar region, and I’m here along with my student. The event program is very extensive and diverse, I saw and learned a lot of new things. I would like to make a special mention of the intensive class for teachers and instructors that provided us with valuable hands-on guidance and resources. I definitely plan to apply these in my classroom," commented Pazyl Zharkynbek.
At the close of the event, the attendees were presented with certificates and sponsored gifts in the form of augmented reality books from Astana Hub and Big Dream Lab.
In Kazakhstan, BeginIT is being implemented in collaboration with the iQanat Educational Foundation and the Training and Methodology Center for Education Development of the Karaganda Region.