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Check out what the Cooney Center staff are covering in the realm of digital kids’ learning. Do you have an idea you’d like to see covered? Let us know!

Meet the Winners: Zoe Plunkett

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Can you stomach the fun of playing a video game while learning about science and the human body? In 10-year-old Zoe Plunkett’s original game, The Digestive System, players learn about a new step in the digestive process as they move through each level. With well-executed mechanics and thoughtful graphic design elements, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based designer … 







Meet the Winners: Connor Shugg

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Hot on the heels of his 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge win for the music-themed game Allegria, 18-year-old Connor Shugg was even more ambitious with this year’s submission. Inspired by his experience in the classroom, Connor’s new platformer game The Calculus Test utilizes word problems as themes for each level, with test-taking stress manifesting as enemy … 







Meet the Winners: Himani Chonkar

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Aspiring movie director Himani Chonkar, age 11, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, shows a clear sense of cinematic vision in her original video game concept, STEM Obstacle Course. Positioned as the “ultimate challenge” in gaming, the players are offered a preview of upcoming levels at a distance and the opportunity to select the avatars and abilities best suited … 







Meet the Winners: Lucas Armand and Shrey Pandya

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

The dynamic developing duo is at it again! In 2016, 14-year-old Lucas Armand of Malvern, Pennsylvania and 14-year-old Shrey Pandya of Exton, Pennsylvania wowed STEM Challenge judges with their science-themed game, Outbreak: Cellular Warfare, winning them the Nat Geo Explore Middle School Playable Game title. This year, the teammates took home their second National STEM Video Game Challenge victory, earning the … 







Meet the Winners: Jude Morey

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Inspired by a wide variety of movies and games, the top-down shooter game Keeper is an ode to classic 16-bit era video games featuring vibrant graphics, music, and sounds. Created by 16-year-old Jude Morey of Beech Grove, Indiana, Keeper took home the High School Open Platform title in the 2017 National STEM Video Game Challenge. “I started … 







Meet the Winners: Geneva Heyward

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Inspired to create a video game that would engage young people while fostering ecological responsibility, Geneva Heyward from Corona, New York, developed Green Hero. “The idea came to me when I was researching different ways to stop climate change and better the environment,” explains the 17-year-old. “To make it more appealing for children, I decided the … 







Meet the Winners: Mason Felton

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

It was a love of dinosaurs that sparked inspiration for 15-year-old Mason Felton’s original video game design, Extinction. Integrating rich custom backgrounds and thoughtfully leveled gameplay, the game invites players to navigate Earth as a dinosaur named Jeff, who, despite his omnivore upbringing, aims to avoid meat whenever possible. The peaceful reptile’s perilous journey through … 







Meet the Winners: Pranav Patil

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Face off with real-life cybersecurity scenarios in 14-year-old Pranav Patil’s original game design, Cyber Champion. After participating in CyberPatriot, a national cybersecurity competition in which students configure systems to be secure, Pranav was determined to educate others on the vulnerabilities of the cyber world. “I wanted to create a fun and simple way for kids to learn … 







Meet the Winners: Kyle Roke

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Commended by the judges for exceptional storytelling, 13-year-old Kyle Roke’s game, Artificial, invites players along on a robot’s intense, heartfelt journey to self-discovery. With over 40 levels, patience and problem-solving skills are integral for success. Thanks to his attention to detail and meticulous gameplay development, the Foxboro, Massachusetts-based student took home the Middle School Gamestar Mechanic title in the 2017 National STEM Video Game Challenge. … 







Meet the Winnners: John Korhel, Alex Lawrence, and John Ripple

by Katy Svehaug
July 31, 2017

Journey into the depths of an ancient tomb as you navigate The Pyramid, an intricate platform game rich with Egyptian mythology, secret levels, and powerful spells. Created by Parker, Colorado-based teammates John Korhel (age 16), Alex Lawrence (age 16), and John Ripple (age 16), The Pyramid was awarded the High School Team Open Platform …