The National STEM Video Game Challenge is a nationwide (US) contest that asks middle school students to design an educational video game. Games can be designed using a platform like Scratch or Game Maker. Games can also be designed and submitted on paper. Either way that they’re designed, the games must address concepts in mathematics and or science. Entries will be judging on creativity, gameplay, and integration of math and science concepts. There is $50,000 worth of prizes and cash being given away to winning designs. Entries will be accepted October 12, 2010 through January 5, 2011. Read all of the contest details here.
Contests like the National STEM Video Game Challenge offer the opportunity for students to create products through which they demonstrate their learning to an audience larger than their classrooms. In order to create a good game design students will need to first master mathematics and or science concepts in order to build games around those concepts. For some students this will provide a motivation to master a concept that they don’t have when they’re simply learning for a test or to write a research paper.