BrainPOP Announces Partnership With National STEM Video Game Challenge

Part of President Obama’s National “Educate to Innovate” Campaign

New York, September 23 – BrainPOP, the award-winning creator of animated educational resources, will serve as a founding outreach partner of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The game design contest is part of the “Educate to Innovate” campaign the White House announced last week, and is headed by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media.

The Challenge capitalizes on students’ passion for video games and the emergence of game-based learning as an effective and engaging teaching tool. The goal of the Challenge is to build and strengthen interest among U.S. middle schoolers in the key areas of science, technology, engineering, and math skills (STEM). Middle school students – particularly those in underserved areas – are invited to harness their STEM skills to design original video games.

As a founding outreach partner, BrainPOP will encourage student submissions and support middle school entrants and their mentors with free access to best-in-class digital STEM content and professional development opportunities. Additionally, BrainPOP will contribute contest prizes to ensure that individual student winners and their schools remain poised for continued success in STEM areas, and will also lend its support to the competition’s judging and promotional efforts.

“We are thrilled to be involved with this worthy initiative, which is so in line with our own mission. BrainPOP was created over a decade ago, inspired by a belief in the importance of science education. We have continued to emphasize STEM topics across all of our resources,” said Avraham Kadar, M.D., a pediatrician, NIH-trained immunologist, and BrainPOP’s Founder and CEO. “Today, we are proud to be known for enhancing the classroom experience with multimedia resources that are proven to contribute to performance, higher-order thinking skills, and motivation to learn. The Video Game Challenge will likewise serve as a motivator and enabler for students in the areas of STEM, which will create a generation of critical thinkers and innovators.”

“Making video games is a complex activity that involves critical 21st century skills such as systems thinking, iterative design, problem solving, collaboration and creativity, and builds a strong motivation for STEM subjects,” says E-Line President and Founder Alan Gershenfeld. “We are always excited to see how enthusiastically youth embrace these concepts when presented in the context of video game creation.”

The contest will include both a Youth Prize for middle school student entrants and a Developer Prize. Students in grades 5-8 at any U.S. school are encouraged to submit entries to the National STEM Video Game Challenge from October 12-January 5. Contest guidelines can be found at: www.cooneycenterprizes.org and at www.stemchallenge.org/youthprize.

Contact:
Traci Kampel
Director of Communications – BrainPOP
Tel: (212) 689.9923, x319
tracik@brainpop.com


About BrainPOP
BrainPOP (www.brainpop.com) creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports teachers, and bolsters achievement – in classrooms, at home, and on mobile devices. Our award-winning online resources include BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español, and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL. We are also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom, and My BrainPOP, a tool that lets teachers create custom assessments and keep track of student learning. All resources are supported by our professional community, BrainPOP Educators. Mapped to the Common Core and aligned to academic standards, BrainPOP web sites and mobile apps support individual, team, and whole-class learning in traditional, blended, and “flipped” settings. Our global sites host more than 17 million visits per month, and our mobile learning apps - downloaded millions of times - continually rank among the highest in the major app stores' education categories.

About the Cooney Center
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, Joan Ganz Cooney, 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.

About E-Line Media
E-Line Media is a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates, and empowers with a core focus on computer/video games and webcomics/graphic novels. The E-Line team of digital media executives and social entrepreneurs are committed to harnessing the power of digital entertainment for meaningful learning, health, and social impact.