Perhaps one of the most interesting takeaways from the recent launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has been the excitement around the accuracy of the releases’s meteorological and geographical accuracy; games hold tremendous promise when it comes to delivering enriched experiences that connect to real-world science, and Games for Change, in coordination with Endless, is pledging to support such potential by funding aspiring developers who are interested in transforming their game into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning environment targeted to those in middle school.
With the “STEM Your Game Challenge,” up to three chosen developers will be awarded as much as $150,000 and a five-month deadline to transform their title into an exciting and educational experience.
Susanna Pollack, Games for Change’s president, spoke on the promise of games as learning environments and this challenge specifically, stating:
“The educational landscape is rapidly changing, and educators are recognizing a need to find digital tools to reach young people who are doing remote learning. Learning games offer a perfect solution for independent, project-based learning, and provide an invaluable tool for teaching students STEM skills. There remains a dearth of high-quality digital games that successfully engage youth as entertainment products while also delivering enriching STEM learning experiences […] we believe the STEM Your Game Challenge will allow the creation of new and innovative games that will engage even our harshest critics – middle schoolers.”Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change
All of the intricate details on the challenge are available via this link, but here’s some quick info:
- Open to all game developers with a completed or functioning (beta-level) game with commercial appeal to 12-14-year-olds.
- The three finalists will have, in addition to the monetary reward, access to education experts to support the development.
- Finalists will get to present their games at the 2021 Games for Change festival in New York City.
- Registration is open from NOW until December 1st.
It’s been a rough year for almost everyone, so it’s welcome to see some opportunities for devs to make a difference with their talents!