University of Texas at Dallas Students Take on National STEM Video Game Challenge

February 7, 2011 -

Two different teams from The University of Texas at Dallas have submitted entries into the first annual National STEM Video Game Challenge. The two teams are comprised of Arts and Technology (ATEC) and Computer Science students at the university. The students are developing games that meet the criteria of the National STEM Video Game Challenge: to motivate America's youth to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and math.

Both teams entered into the Collegiate Prize division, which gives out awards of $25,000 to the top undergraduate or graduate game submission geared toward young children (grades pre-K through 4).

The first team is comprised of students Jainan Sankalia, Liz Paradis, Chris Camacho, and Matthew Tackett. They created a game called Mission Earth: The Search for Hamburgers. The game encourages the use of the scientific method by helping an alien named Gumpert explore the planets.

"We entered because it seemed like a fun, unique challenge to tackle, with the potential for national recognition," Sankalia said. "Our game is designed to help young kids learn the steps of the scientific method, a core mentality that applies across STEM fields, and to help kids cultivate a desire to learn more about space."

The second team of students includes Tony Wu, Adam Chandler, Michael Kaiser, and Daniel Ries. They created a game called Space Cadet, which aims to teach kindergartners about basic math concepts such as length and height by launching rockets.

"A chance to design games is always welcome," said Wu. "Using space exploration as a background for our game and in-game learning objectives as the base concepts for learning, we hope to create a fun learning experience that doesn't feel like learning."

Dr. Monica Evans, assistant professor of game design at UT Dallas, said that she was "thrilled that so many of our students, many of whom are working on educational or training game-based research projects, are able to take that experience and create their own educational games."

"I'm very proud of both teams and wish them both the best of luck," she added.

We are proud of them too - along with other students throughout the country trying to create games that promote learning. We wish them all good luck.

Source: University of Texas at Dallas


 
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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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