America needs more mathematicians, scientists and engineers, and the Obama administration is turning to videogames to help create them.
As part of an initiative to reinvigorate math, technology and science education in American schools, President Obama has announced the National STEM Video Game Challenge, which offers prizes and expertise to the developers that submit the best educational games.
The challenge is sponsored by the ESA, Microsoft and AMD, and teams will compete for a $100,000 dollars worth of funding, split into three different awards. The first award is the grand prize of $50,000 for the best overall submission, with $25,000 set aside for a collegiate prize, and the final $25,000 going to the game that “greatest potential to reach underserved populations.” As well as the cash prize, entrants will also get help and advice in how to take their designs further, as well as help promoting and distributing it.
Speaking at a White House event, President Obama said that the success of America as a nation depended on being a nation of discovery and innovation. He applauded the organizers and sponsors of the challenge for lending their expertise and resources to improving science, technology, engineering and math education in the United States.
The opening date for submissions is October 12th, and the closing date is January 5th, with the finalists announced in mid-February and the final rounds taking place in mid-March. Entrants must be U.S. citizens and aged 18 or over, and teams applying for the collegiate must be currently enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate degree program. You can find more information about the challenge on the official website.