Bubble Ball Bounces to the Top

The game that has knocked “Angry Birds Seasons” off its perch as the top free game in the iTunes store was designed by a self-taught 14-year-old programmer. According to ABC News, Robert Nay decided to design his own game after doing some research in the public library and downloading Corona, a software developer’s kit. With some help from his mother, the eighth grader spent a couple of hours each night over the course of a month designing “Bubble Ball,” a “physics puzzle game” that has wowed programmers twice his age. In an interview with Good Morning America, he admits that he was “astonished” that his app reached number one — it’s been downloaded more than 2 million times, and is still going strong.

Robert’s story highlights the success that motivated kids can achieve with parents and  mentors who provide guidance and access to the tools they need to reach for their dreams. Students interested in learning how to design their own games can use tools like Gamestar Mechanic to make and publish their own games.

How would Robert have fared if he’d entered the National STEM Prize Video Challenge’s Youth Prize? We’re looking forward to checking out the great entries that have been submitted by 5th-8th grade students — we imagine that one (or more!) of these games will also make quite a splash!

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