The 2018 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge is now on. It’s free for students in Years 5–12 to enter and an opportunity for teachers to bring a fun and practical project to design, build and test a computer game into the classroom.
This year’s challenge, themed ‘Transformation’, aligns with the Australian school curriculum in each state and territory and aims to address the decline in primary and secondary school students studying to embark on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas – fields deemed crucial in a modern world economy.
Winners of the challenge’s six categories will be announced in Melbourne in October at PAX Aus, the largest gaming expo in the southern hemisphere, and their games will be display there. The judging panel is made up of volunteers from the education, game development and technology sectors.
Previous winners include Kalianna School Bendigo with Gizma’s Adventure in the Year 9–12 free platform category. Team Kalianna mentor, educator Seamus Curtain-Magee, said while the challenge’s links with the Victorian curriculum in Mathematics and Digital Technology were obvious, students also experienced benefits in other curriculum areas, such as creativity and interpersonal learning.
Now in its fourth year, the challenge is facilitated by the ACER Foundation, the charitable arm of the Australian Council for Educational Research, with the support of a range of sponsors and partners.
Team registrations close on 27 April, and game submissions open on 23 July and close on 3 August. A manual for mentors – the adult responsible for registering and supporting a team throughout the challenge, and managing the administrative details – is available.