July 11, 2013

Stem Video Game Challenge logoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard, gbullard@imls.gov

Sesame Workshop Contact
Jodi Lefkowitz, jodi.lefkowitz@sesame.org

E-Line Media Contact
Brian Alspach, press@elinemedia.com

National STEM Video Game Challenge Names Winners of Third Annual Competition

IMLS-sponsored workshops encouraged library and museum participation

Washington, DC – The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media announced the names of 16 middle school and high school student winners of the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge. The competition 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 top original video games and game design concepts were selected in 14 categories from nearly 4000 entries.

The 2013 STEM Challenge winners are:

Middle School (grades 5-8)



Platform (Category)

City, State

Seong-Hyun Ryoo

Rare Earth


Johns Creek, GA

Angel Martinez-Acevedo

The Arcade

GameStar Mechanic

DeRidder, LA

Nicholas Cameron

Math Rocks


Sayville, NY

Nicolas Badila


Construct 2 (Open Platform)

Jonesboro, GA

Bradley Schmitz

Pixel Jet


Glandorf, OH

Henry Edwards and Kevin Kopczynski

Etiquette Anarchy

Multimedia Fusion 2 (Team)

Durham, NC

Lexi Schneider

Head of the Class


Dresher, PA


High School (grades 9-12)



Platform (Category)

City, State

Sooraj Suresh

Pixel Star One


Campbell, CA

Kieran Luscombe

An Untold Adventure

GameStar Mechanic

Thornton, CO

Cody Haugland

The Amazing Game


Sanger, CA

Aaron Gaudette

Crystal Physics

Unity (Open Platform)

Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Brianna Igbinosun



Lawrenceville, GA

Noah Ratcliff and Pamela Pizarro-Ruiz


C# with XNA (Team)

Pickerington, OH

Janice Tran

Little Green Planet


Palmdale, CA

Each winner will receive an AMD-powered laptop computer with game design and educational software. The individual’s or team’s sponsor organization will receive a cash prize of $2000.

“Youth are natural inventors. They are increasingly shaping their own education by making things,” said Michael H. Levine, Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. “We are delighted by the record-breaking interest in the National STEM Video Challenge this year and congratulate all of the winners on their superb creative entries.”

The 2013 STEM Challenge is presented by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media along with title sponsors the Entertainment Software Association, the AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and national community sponsors the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust. National outreach partners are BrainPOP, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative, Global Kids, Learning Games Network and Edmodo.

IMLS and Hive were new sponsors this year. Together, they funded a series of STEM Challenge game design workshops to empower young people to utilize creative problem-solving and STEM skills to learn how to build video games. IMLS is a federal agency whose mission is to foster libraries and museums as community centers and to and inspire them to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The Hive Digital Media Learning initiative awards grants to bring kids, teachers, scientists and artists together to learn and create beyond the classroom.

“It is exciting to see the creativity and innovation in the video games of the winning students,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “Every day museums and libraries across the country expose teens to the 21st century skills they need to be successful.  I am pleased that IMLS could be a part of the STEM Video Game Challenge, which encourages creativity, systems thinking, and problem solving.”

The National STEM Video Game Challenge was inspired by President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate Campaign." Twenty-eight youth were selected as winners in 2012 and three of those winners participated in the 2013 White House Science Fair in April.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 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.

About the Joan Ganz Cooney Center
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center (www.joanganzcooneycenter.org) is an independent nonprofit research and innovation lab that focuses on the challenges of educating children in a rapidly changing digital media landscape. The Cooney Center conducts research on emerging technologies in education and collaborates with educators, media producers, policymakers and investors to put this research into action. The Cooney Center’s research and programs primarily focus on three areas: games and learning, intergenerational engagement and literacy. The Cooney Center is a co-founder of the Games and Learning Publishing Council and co-presents the annual National STEM Video Game Challenge.

About E-Line Media
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.