Educational video game challenge now open for entries

The National STEM Video Game Challenge opens today. The annual competition, held by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, in partnership with sponsors, is accepting submissions of original video game concepts and designs from students and educators in four categories at

The 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge features the following categories for individuals and teams:

  • Middle School Category - open to students from any U.S. school in grades five through eight.
  • High School Category - open to students in grades nine through 12 from any U.S. school.
  • Collegiate Category - open to undergraduate and graduate students to design original games for children in pre-K through grade 8 that teach STEM concepts and/or foster an interest in STEM subject areas.
  • Educator Category - open to licensed professional educators at the pre-K-12 level, and individuals who are currently teaching or engaging children through a youth serving, non-profit organization as designated by their status as defined by the IRS (i.e. a 501(c)(3). Educators are invited to design games for youth (grades pre-K through 12) that teach key STEM concepts and/or foster an interest in STEM subject areas.

Entries can be created using any game-making platform including, but not limited to, written concepts, Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab, GameMaker and Scratch.

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 (there will be a total of $80,000 in prizes for youth and youth sponsoring organizations). A prize pool of $30,000 will be awarded to the Collegiate Category winners and a prize pool of $40,000 to winners in the Educator Category.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge will accept entries from November 15, 2011 through March 12, 2012. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available at