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Three South Fayette, PA, high school students recently became the winners of the Congressional STEM App Challenge, an app design competition to promote innovation and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) awarded the students with first prize for Pennsylvania’s 14th District for their development of Empowered Learning, an app designed to teach math, history, and other subjects to elementary school students.
The winners of the Congressional STEM App Challenge pictured with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA).
South Fayette’s students joined hundreds across participating congressional districts in more than 35 states to compete in the Congressional STEM App Challenge. Students submitted an original app for mobile, tablet, or other devices, and connected with STEM educational partners and other mentors in their communities who helped develop their app.
In addition to Empowered Learning, other winning apps included:
Winning students created videos explaining their apps that will be shown in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center later this year.
This competition engages students’ creativity and encourages their participation in STEM fields while connecting them with potential future employers. To learn more about this challenge, visit: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/
Twenty minority youths from across the country will travel to Washington, DC next month to be honored by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) program as the 2014 ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows.
Now in its second year, the fellowship program challenges minority youth ages 15-25 to design video games and apps that promote social change within their community. Fellows are selected based on their creativity and their games’ potential to generate a positive impact. Winners receive a $1,000 grant to develop their game and a trip to Washington, DC to visit the White House and present their ideas to administration officials and Members of Congress.
2013 ESA LOFT Innovation Fellows meet with Obama administration officials, ESA representatives in Washington, DC.
Games developed by the 2013 Fellows focused on a variety of topics, including cyberbullying, climate change, and preparation for college. Sophie Sheeline, a junior studying engineering and human-centered design at Dartmouth College, was selected as a 2013 Fellow for her app ER Rush, an emergency room diagnostics game aimed at pre-med students. ESA and HHF recently spoke with Sophie about her experience.
Q: What is it like to be a 2013 ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellow?
The 2014 ESA Loft Video Game Innovation Fellowship is still accepting applications. Interested students must submit their game idea and related materials by September 15. To learn more, please visit http://www.loftfellowship.org/.
This year, ESA marks 20 years of advocacy on behalf of the U.S. video game industry. Since its establishment, ESA has led the rapidly evolving video game industry, working to educate policymakers, parents, and the public about the industry, its technologies, and video games’ meaningful impact on our society.
Among the association’s key accomplishments are a host of partnerships with business leaders, academics, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to further their use of games and game technologies to improve how we live, learn, and work. This includes ESA’s collaboration with Electronic Arts, Institute of Play, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to co-found the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab, an unprecedented research and development effort working to transform learning and assessment practices through digital games. Other notable partnerships include sponsoring the National STEM Video Game Challenge, part of the White House-led Educate to Innovate campaign, and working with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to launch the Active Play Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge.
ESA also engaged policymakers on a range of important issues impacting the video game industry, including intellectual property and copyright laws, content protection, tax, and trade. The association spearheaded the industry’s defense before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2011 case Brown v. EMA/ESA, which resulted in a historic ruling cementing video games as expressive works of art entitled to the same First Amendment protections as movies, books, and music. ESA also built a robust global content protection program, working to reduce the global entertainment software theft that costs the entertainment industry millions of dollars every year.
Over the past 20 years, ESA’s membership base has increased fivefold; it now features 35 members and spans companies that publish games for every video game platform available. ESA has also operated the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world's premier trade show for computer and video games and related products, since 1995, and the show continues to evolve with the video game industry. This year’s show hosted more than 48,000 industry professionals, featured approximately 200 exhibitors, and was the most globally engaging E3 in history, generating more than 50 billion media impressions worldwide.
ESA has also continually demonstrated the industry’s commitment to empowering consumers to make informed entertainment choices through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which also celebrates its 20th anniversary this fall. Since rating its first games, which included Activision’s Pitfall and Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country, the ESRB has become a world-class content rating system for video games and apps that is among the most comprehensive and trusted rating systems in use today.
Additionally, ESA formalized and expanded the video game industry’s philanthropic efforts by establishing the ESA Foundation (ESAF). ESAF provides scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supports teachers and organizations that employ video games and technology to create educational opportunities for America’s youth. The association also sponsored development of the Video Game Voters Network, a grassroots organizations with a growing membership of more than 500,000 voting-age game enthusiasts.
As ESA looks ahead, the association is energized to build on the many successes – long-term industry growth, broadening consumer base, continued innovation, and expanding social benefits of games – that demonstrate video games’ positive impact on society.
In The News
Latest News Releases
Calling All Writers
ESA invites members of the video game community to submit original articles for inclusion in our monthly newsletter. Articles should be no more than 500 words in length, and focus on new video game-related research, innovative industry trends, or interesting applications of entertainment software in areas including education, healthcare, business, and social impact. If you are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email esa@theESA.com with your name, affiliation, and a brief abstract of your proposed piece.
Quote of the Month
"Games offer immediate feedback, you can see your progress, you can try something and be frustrated but later learn more…that’s why game play is so engaging to us."
— Barbara Chamberlin, project director at the New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab, on video games’ potential to serve as educational assessment tools
Did You Know?
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney wrote an original score and a theme song for Destiny, the upcoming video game from Bungie and Activision. McCartney joins a growing list of notable artists from the film and music industry - including Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, and Hans Zimmer - who have also composed music for video games.
Statistic of the Month
Global revenue from tablet games is expected to reach $3.6 billion this year and grow to $13.3 billion by 2019, according to a recent report from Juniper Research.
ESA Foundation Impact Update
Entertainment Software Association
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