Friday, April 27

Zombie attack! Students Experience Education With A Twist

School officials called it a zombie apocalypse game, but it was more than a game when "zombies" attacked students last week at University High School.

It was a learning experience.

"I've always been a huge fan of horror movies, especially zombie movies," said Brian Pulawski, one of two sophomores who came up with the idea.

"We thought it would be fun to stage our very own zombie apocalypse drill. From there the idea grew, and we began working on the game and relating it to our school's core values."

Any other day, you wouldn't see zombies roaming the hallways, said Ashley Crockett-Lohr, director of communications at the private school in Carmel.

"The goal of our zombie apocalypse was to use this fun, fantastical situation to get students thinking about the way they interact with the world and how this reflects their personal values."

Ever since the cult classic "Night of the Living Dead" was produced in 1968 by George Romero, there has been a growing fascination with portraying the walking dead in America. Through several sequels, TV shows and, nowadays, "zombie runs" for charity -- such portrayals have been used with some cleverness.

Here is how it went down at University High:

A small group of (student) zombies invaded the high school, all of them wearing red headbands. Meanwhile, more than 200 "human students" were split into small groups of 10 to 15 and given a task to complete.

They were simple tasks that required teamwork: making pancakes to feed other humans, translating a secret message written in French or turning water blue using green food coloring.

The goal was to get it done together and make it to safety (a hill at the back of the school's grounds) in one hour.

But any student "tagged" by a zombie became a zombie, too.

To defend themselves from attack, the human students used balled-up socks to strike the zombies, sending them back to their own base (a parking lot) to recharge and re-enter play.

And sure, the zombie makeup was a bit creepy.

Sophomore Gabby Krieble, who helped devise the event, enjoyed playing one of the undead.

"We (the zombie horde) were very happy with the number of humans we were able to bring to our side," she said. "It was also a lot of fun to run around the whole campus in our pursuit of brains."

(Note: No humans or zombies were actually hurt during this event).

"The students were very excited about the game, and they embraced the challenge of evading the zombies," Crockett-Lohr said. "(They) were sprinting to classrooms for safety, frantically throwing balled-up socks at zombies to stun them.

"Zombies were lurking outside of classrooms, hiding behind bushes and emerging from underneath tables to catch human students."

Lessons were quickly learned. During the all-school debriefing after the game, one student reported that her group managed to complete its task by teaming up with another group.

Though they lost a few members, the task was completed. Another student realized that her group needed to be more cohesive. If they had been, she said, they might have accomplished their objective.

University High has 280 students this semester, and they use a variety of ways to build a small but close school community, including one-to-one mentoring with faculty members, community meetings daily and a Community Day each semester.


Playing zombies seems a whole lot safer than playing Battle Balls in class...
Thanks for reading and don't forget to hit the share buttons! :D


YeamieWaffles said...

I really want to go on this right now, I'm so envious of Americans getting to enjoy this kind of thing.

The Angry Lurker said...

Now that would have made school worth attending, brilliant stuff and what a GIF!

Adam said...

battle balls looks painful

D4 said...

That's pretty cool, should be done more often.

MRanthrope said...

ha. I dig zombies and all...but this probably why our education system of the laughing stock of the modern industrialized world!