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Game On For the National STEM Video Game Challenge

Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media Open the Third Annual Competition for Students with New Website

New York, February 11, 2013 – The annual National STEM Video Game Challenge, presented by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media opens today for student submissions of original video games and game designs. The Challenge, now in its third year, aims to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by tapping into students’ enthusiasm for playing and making video games. The Cooney Center and E-Line are joined for the 2013 Challenge by returning title sponsors the AMD Foundation,Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the Entertainment Software Association and new national community sponsors the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency that will assist with broadening the reach of the Challenge through the inclusion of museums and libraries as gaming venues outside of schools.

The 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge is accepting entries from U.S. students in two categories: Middle School and High School. The Middle School category is open to students in grades five through eight and the High School category is open to students in grades nine through twelve. Both categories offer entries for individuals and teams of up to four students. Entries can be created using any game-making platform such as Gamestar Mechanic,Microsoft’s KoduGameMakerScratch or a written game design concept document.

National outreach partners for this year are BrainPOPthe Corporation for Public Broadcasting PBS KIDS Ready To Learn InitiativeLearning Games Network and Edmodo. The national community sponsors and outreach partners will be holding game design workshops and events in cities across the country. Upcoming events include workshops, facilitated by Global Kids and E-Line Media, on February 23 in Philadelphia at the Free Library of Philadelphia and at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle on March 23.

The 2013 STEM Challenge opens with the launch of a new web community at www.stemchallenge.org featuring game development tools, news and resources on game design and STEM skills, an Ask the Experts area and information on STEM Challenge events. These features and details on how to enter the 2013 Challenge are available on the website.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is accepting entries through April 24, 2013.

“I consider winning the STEM challenge to be one of the best achievements of my life. Creating the game opened my eyes to the world of computers, which I had never even considered to be interesting before,” said Julia Weingaertner, Middle School category winner, 2012 National STEM Challenge.

Winners in each category will be selected for each game creation platform and will receive an AMD-powered laptop computer including game design and educational software. Each winner’s sponsoring organization will receive a cash prize of $2000.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge was inspired by President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate Campaign,”an initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and math education. More than 3,700 middle and high school youth participated in the 2012 Challenge, a 650% increase over its inaugural year. Twenty-eight youth were selected as winners last year and two winners from the inaugural year of the competition were invited to showcase their games at the White House Science Fair in February 2012.

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 ofSesame Street. Core funding is provided by Peter G. Peterson and Sesame Workshop. Learn 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.

Contacts:

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

Kerri Schlottman
E-Line Media
646-580-8593
kschlottman@elinemedia.com

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