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Contest Opens for Student-Designed Video Games


Students with a propensity for technology can put their skills to the test as the National STEM Video Game Challenge is officially open.

Gaming HistoryInspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games. Students are encouraged to submit original video game concepts and designs from students and educators in four categories.

“The National STEM Video Game Challenge will channel the potential of a new generation of game creators to develop innovative tools for learning,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop. “We are delighted that the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media are responding to the critical national priority to ignite children’s interest in STEM.” 

The 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge is launched in partnership with Digital Promise, a new initiative created by the President and Congress, supported through the Department of Education. The initiative is designed to unlock the promise of breakthrough technologies to transform teaching and learning.

Entries can be created using any game-making platform including, but not limited to, written concepts, Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab, GameMaker and Scratch. The National STEM Video Game Challenge will accept entries through March 12, 2012. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available at

New sub-categories being introduced this year are the PBS KIDSstream and the Sesame Street stream. The PBS KIDS stream invites entrants from each of the four categories to design math-based video games for children in pre-K through grade four that are inspired by the Ready to Learn Initiative’s math curriculum framework.The Sesame Street stream, open only to the Collegiate and Educator categories, calls for entrants to design a STEM-based learning video game for pre-K through first grade inspired by Sesame Street’s curriculum and footage.

“We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and outreach partners who have aligned their resources to respond to the National STEM Video Game Challenge,” said Alan Gershenfeld, Founder and President of E-Line Media. “Together we can activate a network of thousands of school-based and extended learning programs to harness the power of games and youth game design to make STEM engaging, relevant and empowering to students throughout the country."

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