Winners of 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge Announced

Washington, DC, May 22, 2012 -The winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by learning, playing and making video games, were announced today at The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, DC. Twenty-eight middle school and high school students from across the U.S. were selected as winners for their original game designs. In addition, two winners were awarded in the Collegiate category and three in the Educator category.

Seventeen games created by individuals and teams of students, in eight subcategories, were selected as winners of the Middle School and High School categories from a group of more than 3700 entries. The winners are:

Middle School (grades 5-8)

Category/Platform Name Title City, State
Playable Game -Teams Campbell Kriess
Connor Schexnaildre
Justin Bicehouse
Drew McCarron
Archers vs. Aliens Cranberry Twp, PA
Evans City, PA
Evans City, PA
Cranberry Twp, PA
CPB/PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Initiative Chloe Mario
Madeleine Lapuerta
Emma Froehlich
Math Racing Mania Princeton, NJ
Skillman, NJ
Skillman, NJ
Scratch &Playable Game Incorporating STEM Themes Cooper Kelley Mechanical Dragon Cambridge, MA
Kodu Gustavo Zacarias TheDarkLabyrinth San Antonio, TX
CPB/PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Initiative Julia Weingaertner
Sarah Lippman
Animal Inequalities Princeton Junction, NJ
Pennington, NJ
Written Game Design Kirk Lindsay Dr. Phy in the Six Kingdoms of Life Carrollton, VA
Gamemaker Kristian Windsor Team Block San Martin, CA
Written Game Design Incorporating STEM Themes Sam Blazes Battle of the Bugs: Genes Rule Bethesda, MD
Gamestar Mechanic Shashank Mahesh Mission 17639: Planetcorp Gibsonton, FL
High School (grades 9-12)
Category/Platform Name Title City, State
Gamestar Mechanic Carter Gerritson Earth 2112 Sioux City, IA
Scratch Daniel Gasiorek ViViD ABYSS Riverview, FL
Gamemaker Eli Aldinger New World Vancouver, WA
Playable Game – Teams Golden Rockefeller
Wilfried Hounyo
Endre Osborne
Electrobob Washington, DC
Playable Game – Teams Ian Tomasch
Alec Tomasch
Jake Swarthout
Thomas Crowley
Bottle Quest Saugerties, NY
Written Game Design & Written Game Design Incorporating STEM Themes Michael Feng Tales of Encephalia Redwood City, CA
Playable Game Incorporating STEM Themes Owen Leddy Pathogen Wars Santa Monica, CA
Open Platform Steven Stulga Darwin’s Finches Waterford, VA


The youth winners were also honored at an event sponsored by Microsoft on May 21at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Middle School and High School category winners will each receive AMD-based laptops, game design software packages and other tools to support their skill development. Each winner’s youth sponsoring organization will receive cash prizes and educational software. A total of $80,000 in prizes was awarded to the winners and their sponsoring organizations.

In the Collegiate category, Speedy MathTrain, developed by Levi Miller, Stephen Shaefer, Alex Kampf, and Stephen Zabrecky, a team from Purdue University, won the prize for the PBS KIDS stream that challenged participants to develop educational games for children ages 4-8 that focus on specific math skills. Cosmic Chain the Math Game, created by Ryan Wehnau from the College of the Redwoods received the prize for the Middle School stream of the category. Each winner is receiving $10,000 and on-going guidance from the challenge partners and sponsors for their winning game.

For the Educator category, the PBS KIDS stream prize went to Addition Blocks, created by a Martin Esterman, a teacher from Marietta, Georgia. The Middle School prize was awarded to Mark Supal, an educator from Warren, Michigan, for his game Energy Tycoon. Kevin Scirtchfield, a teacher in Fresno, California, was named the winner of the High School prize for his game Alge-Bingo. The Educator category invited professional educators to design games for youth (grades pre-K through 12) that teach key STEM concepts and/or foster an interest in STEM subject areas. The winners of the Educator category are each receiving $10,000 and guidance in the ongoing development of their games.

“Well-designed video games can help students excel in STEM and have fun doing it,” said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “I want to thank the sponsors of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, and congratulate the students and teachers for the remarkable games they have developed.”

A video featuring a look at the youth competition over the last two years is available at . Game highlights for each of the youth, collegiate, and educator winners can be found at and .

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is organized by theJoan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop andE-Line Media in partnership with sponsors the Entertainment Software Association , AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and theCorporation for Public Broadcasting/ PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative.

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 of Sesame Street. Core funding is provided by the generous support of Peter G. Peterson, Genius Products, Mattel, Inc. and Sesame Workshop.

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



Jodi Lefkowitz                              Brian Alspach
Sesame Workshop                       E-Line Media
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