Kids experience consequences in real-life game of Life
Teen Maze is a lot like a real life version of the game of Life: Roll the dice right and you graduate and get a well-paying job.
Pick the wrong card and it could lead to an STD, jail time or even death.
"The kids select random outcomes and it basically takes them through a journey through life. They have no control what they pull. They can pull good choices, but they can also pull some bad choices," says Eddie McBride, Teen Maze Project Coordinator. "It's basically a fake run through life.
Kids can see choices that lead them to graduation and a well-paying job or STDs and death.
Teen Maze expects to see approximately 1,200 seventh and eighth grade students from Dougherty County Schools by the end of Wednesday, and they hope it sticks with the students for a lifetime.
"If we can get this to them before they start making too many of the bad choices that's really our ultimate goal because once you make the decisions and you end up in jail, dead or whatever it is, by then it's too late," says McBride.
Lynn Smelley, Program Manager with the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, helps Teen Maze by providing a "choice bus" for the middle schoolers.
"We reveal the possible consequences of not getting an education which is the jail cell," says Smelley.
After watching a short video, Smelley pulls back a black curtain and reveals a mock prison cell.
"When they see the prison cell it's 'awe' and 'ooh and their eyes get big but then reality sets in that this could be a choice if they're not careful," he says.
McBride says they see a difference in the students' mindsets after they go through the maze.
"We're able to measure through the students what their reaction is and from the pre-tests and post-tests a lot of stuff that we show them sticks for a little while," says McBride.