The winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge were announced today at The Atlantic's Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, DC. The competition was designed to motivate youngsters throughout the country to promote the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by making video 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."
Twenty-eight middle school and high school students from across the country were honored for their original game designs, along with two winners in the college age level and three in the Educator category. Seventeen games were honored – created by individuals and teams of students in eight different categories. The winners were chosen from more than 3700 entries.
Winners were also honored at a Microsoft-sponsored event on May 21 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Middle School and High School winners each received AMD-based laptops, game design software packages and various software tools to support their continued education in software development. Youth sponsoring organizations who had winning entries will also 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 Purdue University students Levi Miller, Stephen Shaefer, Alex Kampf, and Stephen Zabrecky, won the prize for the PBS KIDS stream that challenged participants to develop educational games for children ages 4-8 that focused on specific math skills. Cosmic Chain the Math Game, created by College of the Redwoods student Ryan Wehnau received the prize for the Middle School stream of the math category. Each winner received $10,000 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 teacher 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 winners of the Educator category are receiving $10,000 and guidance in the ongoing development of their games.