Champs! Seneca Valley Sixth-Graders Design Video Game, Win National STEM Challenge
The Evans City Middle School students created a video game that tests the players' math skills as they help defend a castle against an alien attack.
See, playing video games can be good for you.
The students learned about the award Tuesday when they were announced as the winners at The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, D.C.
The competition was designed to motivate an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math by learning, playing and making video games. Nine middle school student teams from across the U.S. were selected as winners for their original game designs—including the Evans City Middle School students.
They were the only students from Pennsylvania to win in any of the categories.
A total of 17 games created by individuals and teams of students in eight subcategories were selected as winners out of more than 3,700 entries.
The Playable Game Winning Team of “Archers vs. Aliens” was made up of four sixth-graders from Evans City Middle School. They are:
- Campbell Kriess
- Connor Schexnaildre
- Justin Bicehouse
- Drew McCarron
Their game tests the players' math skills as they help defend their castle against an alien attack. Campbell, Connor, Justin and Drew learned about the STEM Challenge by participating in the Mini Global Game Jam at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in partnership WQED.
“We congratulate them for such a prestigious award,” said Dr. Tracy Vitale, Seneca Valley superintendent. “STEM initiatives have begun in earnest at Seneca Valley and this further validates our desire to make advancements in this area. We are thrilled that Campbell, Connor, Justin and Drew have developed and excelled in developing this game and I’m looking forward to playing it myself.”
The winners also were honored Monday at an event sponsored by Microsoft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The winners each received AMD-based laptops, game design software packages and other tools to support 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.
To check out the Evans City students’ award-winning video game, click on the video with this article.
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