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STEM Video Game Challenge 2011

girls working at computer coding laughing

Whenever I hear “video game challenge,” I immediately think of The Wizard, with Fred Savage and company trekking across country to sunny California to compete in the ultimate Super Mario Bros. 3 video game championship…

I realize some of you are too young to remember such cinematic excellence, but it was worth a shot.

Anyway, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a much different competition than the one portrayed in Wizard, as kids and teens from all over the nation battle it out making video games instead of playing them.

Inspired by President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign, the challenge aims to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education among youth.

Students in middle school, high school, and even college began submitting entries November 15, 2011 and can continue to do so until March 2012.  Submissions themselves can be games created on any topic, made with any game creation tool, but the different entry streams include video games made with Scratch, Kodu, and more.  Who is eligible?  Any U.S. citizen enrolled in a school within the 50 states (or homeschooled) can participate.

And the competition isn’t just for fun – the winners receive awards and recognition.  Prizes vary across age groups, but include AMD-powered laptops equipped with video game design and educational software, $2,500 for the winner’s school of choice, and more.

The inaugural challenge took place last year, and garnered over 500 game entries from middle and high schoolers, college students, and even educators.