Monday, November 26, 2007

Global Kids: Building A Serious Games Focused Curriculum

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education

Via: Global Kids' Digital Media Initiative - Motorola Foundation Grants $3.5 Million to Inspire Next Generation of Inventors

Motorola announced this past week the recipients of their new Foundation Grants program. Global Kids was picked as one of the recipients with their proposal of creating further virtual world focused curriculum, this time spotlighting teaching science through virtual worlds.

Read the press release below.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educational Programs Will Reach Children Across the Country

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – 14 Nov. 2007 – The Motorola Foundation announced today the recipients of its Innovation Generation Grants, a $3.5 million initiative to inspire young people to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The 2007 Innovation Generation Grants support 106 breakthrough programs that use innovative approaches to develop interest in technology-related fields while strengthening leadership and problem-solving skills. The grants target programs that encourage girls and ethnic groups currently underrepresented in technology fields. Of the recipient programs:

▪ 41 percent serve African American students
▪ 19 percent reach Hispanic youth
▪ 31 percent specifically target girls

“Motorola wants to show the next generation of inventors that science is fun, challenging and possible,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. “Through the Innovation Generation Grants, organizations across the country are helping students develop a passion for science and math by making the connection between the cool technology they enjoy every day and the educational foundation they will need for greater success in the classroom and beyond.

”According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring science, engineering or technical training will increase 24 percent between 2004 and 2014 to 6.3 million, making critical thinkers and practical problem solvers fluent in today’s technology even more crucial.

The programs supported by the Innovation Generation Grants range from after-school and summer science enrichment programs to activities that promote innovative technology use and teacher-training initiatives, including:

* Global Kids, Inc. in New York will develop and test a high school curriculum that will enable educators to utilize the virtual world of Second Life to engage students in exploring global science, technology and programming.

* Half Moon Bay High School in Half Moon Bay, Calif., will implement a new way of teaching algebra in Spanish that engages students in learning math concepts using new technology and hands-on learning, inspiring interest and pursuit of math, science and technology careers.

* The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York will work with four public schools from the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation to develop curriculum, train teachers and host student workshops in school classrooms and aboard the former aircraft carrier turned museum to cultivate a deep interest in science among young women.

* The Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, Calif., will engage students in conducting scientific exploration of the San Francisco Bay on its 90-foot research vessel, at its pier lab, in the classroom and through the Internet.

* The National Society of Black Engineers in Alexandria, Va., will meld the engineering design process with math and science knowledge in a fun and interactive environment at its Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) Camp.

* Working In The Schools’ (WITS) new Chicago workplace mentoring program will provide a literacy program with a math and science focus, matching elementary school students one-to-one with business volunteers.

“With our Innovation Generation Grant, we are involving girls at an early age in hands-on design and engineering experiences," said Kathy Cloninger, CEO for Girl Scouts of the USA, which will launch new FIRST LEGO League teams across the country and expand its Design and Discovery Camps with its grant. 

"Thanks to Motorola, we can challenge traditional perceptions of girls' abilities and close the well-documented gender gap – so they can continue to strengthen their role as members of the STEM workforce.”

Beyond funding, Motorola is linking recipients of the Innovation Generation Grants with each other through a new company-hosted portal site that helps expand and enhance the global network of advocates for innovation in science, technology, engineering and math education.

Many of the grants also will engage Motorola engineers and scientists as volunteers to guide, mentor, tutor and provide valuable insight into the opportunities and excitement of their line of work.

Since 2000, Motorola Foundation has contributed more than $35 million in grants to a variety of programs that expand student access to science and technology fields.

About Motorola Foundation

The Motorola Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming.