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National STEM Video Game Challenge Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Competition

July 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Giuliana Bullard
IMLS Press Contact
202-653-4799 
gbullard@imls.gov

Jodi Lefkowitz 
Sesame Workshop 
212-875-6497 
jodi.lefkowitz@sesame.org 

Mark German
E-Line Media
213-453-3935 
markgerman@elinemedia.com

Washington, DC—The National STEM Video Game Challenge announced the winners of its fourth annual competition. The winners were recognized at a gaming celebration on June 27 in Pittsburgh at WQED. The top original video games and game design concepts were selected in 14 categories from nearly 4,000 entries. The STEM Challenge, presented by the Smithsonian in partnership with E-Line Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, aims to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among students in grades 5-12 by tapping into their enthusiasm for playing and making video games.

The STEM Challenge is held in partnership with founding sponsor the Entertainment Software Association, corporate sponsor Bayer, and the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS), The Grable FoundationAARP and Mentor Up.

The winners are:

Middle School (grades 5-8)

Name

Game Title

Platform (Category)

City, State

Matthew Bellavia

Gravity Galaxy

Gamemaker

Sammamish, WA

Lance Dugars

The Brink Walker

Gamestar Mechanic

Katy, TX

Ethan Pang

Science Survivor

Open Platform

San Jose, CA

Cole Nugteren

Pyromania

Scratch

St. Louis Park, MN

John Korhel
& John Ripple

The Cube’s Journey

Team Open Platform

Parker, CO

Brooklyn Humphrey

Maze Kraze

Unity

Auburn, WA

Sanja Kirova

Ezcape

Written

Portage, IN

High School (grades 9-12)

Name

Game Title

Platform (Category)

City, State

Zack Harmon

Gongbat

Gamemaker

Litchfield, OH

Olivia Thomas

Colorless

Gamestar Mechanic

Boise, ID

Thomas Cannon

Peg Leg Patrick’s Buoyancy Adventure

Open Platform

San Jose, CA

[No winner named]

N/A

Scratch

N/A

Thariq Ridha
& Umair Zaidi

BLOB

Team Open Platform

Beaverton, OR

Gabriel Rocero

In Search of Purpose

Unity

Temple, TX

Lexi Schneider

Body Builders

Written

Dresher, PA

Each winner receives a cash prize of $1,000, as well as game design and educational software. Each winner’s sponsoring organization receives a cash prize of $2,000.

“The National STEM Video Game Challenge helps unlock the incredible potential of the next generation of game designers,” said Michael H. Levine, Executive Director, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center. “We are thrilled to honor the great work of these students who demonstrated creativity and the 21st century skills needed to build engaging and educational games.”

This year the STEM Challenge conducted more than 40 game design workshops across the country. IMLS sponsored a series of workshops at libraries and museums, and a series of featured workshops conducted in the Pittsburgh area supported the work of the Kids+Creativity Network. The alliance is generously supported by the Grable Foundation and managed by The Sprout Fund. AARP and Mentor Up also supported a series of community workshops to encourage intergenerational learning and game design.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge was inspired by President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign. Previous winners have showcased their games at the White House Science Fair,The Smithsonian Institution and Games4Change Festival.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center investigates the potential of digital media to help children learn, and collaborates with educators, media producers, policymakers and investors to put this research into action. An independent nonprofit organization, the Center addresses issues of digital equity and aims to strengthen connections between formal and informal learning environmentsLearn more atwww.joanganzcooneycenter.org.

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.

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