National STEM Video Game Challenge Launches 4th Year with New Partners

October 29, 2014

Annual Competition Invites Students to Design Their Own Video Games to Incite Learning and an Opportunity to Win Prizes


STEM Challenge logo 2013New York, October 29, 2014 – The National STEM Video Game Challenge, presented by E-Line Media, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Smithsonian, opens today for student submissions of original video games and game designs. The Challenge aims to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning among youth by tapping into their natural passions for playing and making video games. Now in its fourth year, the competition is held in partnership with founding sponsor the Entertainment Software Association and the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The Grable Foundation, AARP, and Mentor Up.

The 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 invite entries for individuals and teams of up to four students. Entries can be created using any game creation platform such as Gamestar Mechanic, Unity, GameMaker and Scratch or a written game design concept document.

Judges will select winners for each game creation platform in both categories. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000, as well as game design and educational software. Each winner’s sponsoring organization will receive a cash prize of $2000.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is accepting entries through February 25, 2015. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available at

STEM Challenge workshops will take place in approximately 20 cities offering guidance from E-Line Media and other game industry professionals for students to learn how to design video games. Workshops for educators will provide training to mentor students in game design. Featured events in the Pittsburgh area will support the work of the Kids+Creativity Network consisting of more than 200 organizations that encourage youth education. The alliance is generously supported by the Grable Foundation and managed by The Sprout Fund. AARP will support a series of community workshops to encourage intergenerational learning and game design. IMLS will sponsor national workshops at libraries and museums. A calendar of workshops will be available on the STEM Challenge website.

The STEM Challenge website features game development tools, resources on game design and STEM skills for students and mentors and information on STEM Challenge events.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge was inspired by President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate Campaign.” Nearly 4,000 middle and high school youth participated in the 2013 STEM Challenge. Previous winners have showcased their games at the White House Science Fair.

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 environments. Learn more at

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

Follow the National STEM Video Game Challenge on Twitter @STEMChallenge and Facebook

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