$1.5m games research grant for Colorado University

National Science Foundation funds games design research
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A grant of $1.5 million has been issued to the University of Colorado at Boulder to continue their research in video game design.

The grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, is for further study of how designing games engages students in computational thinking and 'STEM' simulation design.

STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics simulations model natural and social phenomena, like crowd behavior and forest fires.

The earlier project, dubbed 'iDreams', looked at how designing these simulations as games can motivate students to learn STEM.

Over 100 teachers and 8,000 students participated in the program, which produced over 10,000 games. This far exceeded the initial expectation of 40 teachers and 1,200 students, as the program spread out of Colorado to reach Alaska, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

The summer-taught program at Boulder was deemed highly effective, even over a wide range of communites, from urban and inner city classrooms to remote Alaskan Native American villages.