Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 13:51 EDT

National STEM Video Game Challenge Winners Announced

May 22, 2012

More Than $100,000 Awarded to Students and Educators by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by learning, playing and making video games, were announced today at The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, DC. Twenty-eight middle school and high school students from across the U.S. were selected as winners for their original game designs. In addition, two winners were awarded in the Collegiate category and three in the Educator category.

Seventeen games created by individuals and teams of students, in eight subcategories, were selected as winners of the Middle School and High School categories from a group of more than 3700 entries. The winners are:

Middle School (grades 5-8)

    Category/Platform                       Name                             Title                        City, State
    -----------------                       ----                             -----                        -----------
    Playable Game -Teams                    Campbell Kriess                  Archers vs. Aliens           Cranberry Twp, PA
                                            Connor Schexnaildre                                           Evans City, PA
                                            Justin Bicehouse                                              Evans City, PA
                                            Drew McCarron                                                 Cranberry Twp, PA
    ---                                     -------------                                                 -----------------
    CPB/PBS KIDS Ready to Learn
     Initiative                             Chloe Mario                      Math Racing Mania            Princeton, NJ
                                            Madeleine Lapuerta                                            Skillman, NJ
                                            Emma Froehlich                                                Skillman, NJ
    Scratch &                               Cooper Kelley                    Mechanical Dragon            Cambridge, MA
    Playable Game Incorporating STEM Themes
    ---------------------------------------                                                                                      ---
    Kodu                                    Gustavo Zacarias                 The Dark Labyrinth           San Antonio, TX
    ----                                    ----------------                 ------------------           ---------------
    CPB/PBS KIDS Ready to Learn
     Initiative                             Julia Weingaertner               Animal Inequalities          Princeton Junction, NJ
                                            Sarah Lippman                                                 Pennington, NJ
    Written Game Design                     Kirk Lindsay                      Dr. Phy in the Six Kingdoms
                                                                              of Life                     Carrollton, VA
    -------------------                                         ------------ ---------------------------- --------------
    Gamemaker                               Kristian Windsor                 Team Block                   San Martin, CA
    ---------                               ----------------                 ----------                   --------------
    Written Game Design                     Sam Blazes                        Battle of the Bugs: Genes
     Incorporating STEM Themes                                                Rule                        Bethesda, MD
    --------------------------                                    ---------- --------------------------   ------------
    Gamestar Mechanic                       Shashank Mahesh                  Mission 17639: Planetcorp    Gibsonton, FL
    --------------------------              ---------------                  -------------------------    -------------

    High School (grades 9-12)

    Category/Platform                       Name                             Title                        City, State
    -----------------                       ----                             -----                        -----------
    Gamestar Mechanic                       Carter Gerritson                 Earth 2112                   Sioux City, IA
    -----------------                       ----------------                 ----------                   --------------
    Scratch                                 Daniel Gasiorek                  ViViD ABYSS                  Riverview, FL
    -------                                 ---------------                  -----------                  -------------
    Gamemaker                               Eli Aldinger                     New World                    Vancouver, WA
    ---------                               ------------                     ---------                    -------------
    Playable Game -  Teams                  Golden Rockefeller               Electrobob                   Washington, DC
                                            Wilfried Hounyo
                                            Endre Osborne
    ---                                     -------------
    Playable Game - Teams                   Ian Tomasch                      Bottle Quest                 Saugerties, NY
                                            Alec Tomasch
                                            Jake Swarthout
                                            Thomas Crowley
    ---                                     --------------
    Written Game Design & Written
     Game Design Incorporating STEM
     Themes                                 Michael Feng                     Tales of Encephalia          Redwood City, CA
    -------------------------------         ------------                     -------------------          ----------------
    Playable Game Incorporating STEM
     Themes                                 Owen Leddy                       Pathogen Wars                Santa Monica, CA
    --------------------------------        ----------                       -------------                ----------------
    Open Platform                           Steven Stulga                    Darwin's Finches             Waterford, VA
    -------------                           -------------                    ----------------             -------------

The youth winners were also honored at an event sponsored by Microsoft on May 21 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Middle School and High School category winners will each receive AMD-based laptops, game design software packages and other tools to support their skill development. Each winner’s youth sponsoring organization will receive cash prizes and educational software. A total of $80,000 in prizes was awarded to the winners and their sponsoring organizations.

In the Collegiate category, Speedy Math Train, developed by Levi Miller, Stephen Shaefer, Alex Kampf, and Stephen Zabrecky, a team from Purdue University, won the prize for the PBS KIDS stream that challenged participants to develop educational games for children ages 4-8 that focus on specific math skills. Cosmic Chain the Math Game, created by Ryan Wehnau from the College of the Redwoods received the prize for the Middle School stream of the category. Each winner is receiving $10,000 and on-going guidance from the challenge partners and sponsors for their winning game.

For the Educator category, the PBS KIDS stream prize went to Addition Blocks, created by Martin Esterman, a teacher from Marietta, Georgia. The Middle School prize was awarded to Mark Supal, an educator from Warren, Michigan, for his game Energy Tycoon. Kevin Scirtchfield, a teacher in Fresno, California, was named the winner of the High School prize for his game Alge-Bingo. The Educator category invited professional educators to design games for youth (grades pre-K through 12) that teach key STEM concepts and/or foster an interest in STEM subject areas. The winners of the Educator category are each receiving $10,000 and guidance in the ongoing development of their games.

“Well-designed video games can help students excel in STEM and have fun doing it,” said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “I want to thank the sponsors of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, and congratulate the students and teachers for the remarkable games they have developed.”

A video featuring a look at the youth competition over the last two years is available at http://youtu.be/3m9nMSJGpDQ. Game highlights for each of the youth, collegiate, and educator winners can be found at http://bitly.com/youth_stem12 and http://bitly.com/adults_stem12.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is organized by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media in partnership with sponsors the Entertainment Software Association, AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/ PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is an independent, non-profit research center that is fostering innovation in children’s learning through digital media. The Cooney Center conducts and supports research, creates educational models and interactive media properties and builds cross-sector partnerships. The Cooney Center is named for Sesame Workshop’s founder, who revolutionized television with the creation of Sesame Street. Core funding is provided by the generous support of Peter G. Peterson; Genius Products; Mattel, Inc.; and Sesame Workshop.

E-Line Media is a publisher of game-based learning products and services that engage educate and empower, helping to prepare youth for lives and careers in the 21st Century. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health, and social impact. Find out more at www.elinemedia.com.

SOURCE National STEM Video Game Challenge

Source: PR Newswire