Globaloria and Games for Change Announce Finalists and Winners of Game Design Competition for Houston Public School Students

Houston students to be honored at awards gala for creating their own games for social change
as part of citywide competition

November 9, 2016 (Houston, Texas): Over the past school year, 4,000 Globaloria middle and high school students from Houston ISD, Alief ISD, and Sheldon ISD have been learning computer science, digital game design and coding as part of their career and technical education (CTE). This week, 37 student finalists were announced as part of Globaloria’s and Games for Change’s Game Design Competition where students learned to develop educational games about community issues and future STEM careers, such as nanotechnology and 3D design. Of the finalists, 16 winners were chosen, including twelve girls and four boys, and will be honored at the Games for Change Student Challenge Awards Gala on November 16, 2016, taking place at Grotto’s Ballroom in Houston.

Globaloria is a leading provider of K-12 computer science (CS) education, founded on the mission that all public school students should have access to education that enables them to become computer-literate. This new generation of computer-savvy students will drive the local and global digital economy, close socioeconomic digital divides, and reduce gender gaps in STEM and CS careers. As the largest program of its kind nationwide in 2015-16, Globaloria courses generated more than 700,000 hours of web design in public school classrooms, led by 650 educators in 150 schools across 15 states, and aims to double size during this 2016-17 school year.

“We partnered with Games for Change, a leading national organization that facilitates the creation and distribution of professional digital games for humanitarian purposes and social impact,” said Dr. Idit Harel, CEO and Founder of Globaloria, “because our two organizations share the belief that a great way for youth to learn computer science is by making educational games on STEM subjects and community issues – on topics that matter to them now and in their future.”

Globaloria and G4C implemented a citywide educational competition that encouraged Houston students to design digital games about real-world issues, with support from the Barlovento Foundation, WNBA, and Houston ISD. Teachers from schools across Houston, Alief and Sheldon were trained to run game design courses using the award-winning Globaloria blended-learning platform. In its first year in Houston, the program engaged over 3,700 students, of which 45% were girls. 80 Houston public school educators received training to run 155 game design courses in 37 schools.

“Game design offers a pathway to career opportunities, helping young people build 21st century skills such as collaboration and critical thinking,” explained G4C President Susanna Pollack. “The G4C Student Challenge program prepares students for college and jobs that leverage technology and games for a better world.”

Civic Engagement
Houston students were invited to make games about two civic-engagement themes:

  • 1) Future STEM Careers (a career that can improve the community, now and in the future);
  • 2) Community Impact (a community or social issue).

Submissions were evaluated based on quality of creativity, gameplay, design and coding, and use of theme. Here are the 16 Winners of the Globaloria & Games for Change Houston Student Challenge 2016:

Future STEM Careers:
Melissa B._Protect Creatures
Melissa B., Protect Creatures, Hamilton Middle School, Houston ISD

Camaya E._Good Decisions
Camaya E., Good Decisions, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Rahawa G._Nanomachines Strike Back
Rahawa G., Nanomachines Strike Back, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Eliana M._Safe-Proof
Eliana M., Safe-Proof, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Joanna M._Medicine at a Distance
Joanna M., Medicine at a Distance, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Giscar O._Dr. Wifi
Giscar O., Dr. Wifi, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Larsen T._ASTP
Larsen T., ASTP, Pin Oak Middle School, Houston ISD

Karime V._Surgery at a Distance
Karime V., Surgery at a Distance, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Community Impact:
JoeyRay A._Clean the City
JoeyRay A., Clean the City, Hamilton Middle School, Houston ISD

Arial B._Oil Action
Arial B., Oil Action, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD

Daniela B._Carl's Cellular Mission
Daniela B., Carl’s Cellular Mission, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Maritza B._Save A Life
Maritza B., Save A Life, C.E. King Middle School, Sheldon ISD

Stephany F._Smart Materials
Stephany F., Smart Materials, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Lizbeth Diaz L._Green World
Lizbeth Diaz L., Green World, Sharpstown High School, Houston ISD

Lynesia M._Solar Panels
Lynesia M., Solar Panels, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Anh Hoang N._Marathon Water Supplies
Anh Hoang N., Marathon Water Supplies, Alief Taylor High School, Alief ISD

Prizes for the 16 Student Challenge Winners emphasize STEM career opportunities in Houston related to the themes of Future STEM Careers and Community Impact. The 2016 Houston Challenge prizes include:

  • Lunch with a senior executive and tour of innovation center (provided by Avanade)
  • Classroom visit by a professional game designer (provided by Bouncing Pixel)
  • Exclusive museum and office tour (provided by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston)
  • Office tour and lunch with a company executive (provided by Creative Circle)
  • Gallery tour, leadership workshop and lunch (provided by Diverseworks)
  • Exclusive museum tour and meeting with staff (provided by Lawndale Art Center)
  • Shadowing opportunity, lunch and an office tour (provided by Obsidian Learning)

These prizes will be presented an invitation-only Awards Gala at Grotto’s Ballroom in Houston on November 16th. For more information on attending the event that includes VIP speakers and student demos, contact: Leeann Bartee, Globaloria Director of Programs: leeann@globaloria.com | 817-475-4853

The 37 Finalists of the Globaloria & Games for Change Houston Student Challenge 2016 are:
(sorted by schools, then students’ last initials – winners are starred with *)

Community Impact:
* Anh Hoang N., Marathon Water Supplies, Alief Taylor High School, Alief ISD
* Arial B., Oil Action, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD
* Maritza B., Save A Life, C.E. King Middle School, Sheldon ISD
* JoeyRay A., Clean the City, Hamilton Middle School, Houston ISD
* Lizbeth Diaz L., Green World, Sharpstown High School, Houston ISD
* Daniela B., Carl’s Cellular Mission, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Stephany F., Smart Materials, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Dulce J., Save the Animals, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Lynesia M., Solar Panels, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Ha T., Smart Materials, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD

Future STEM Careers:
Jos-i Wayene Signey G., Computer Part Hunt, Alief Taylor High School, Alief ISD
Ahmed A., Digestive Beatdown, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD
Mallory J., Pig Palooza, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD
Alexa O., Rainforest Math, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD
Samuel Y., Algebra Pro, Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, Houston ISD
* Melissa B., Protect Creatures, Hamilton Middle School, Houston ISD
Ryan M., Battle Side, Pin Oak Middle School, Houston ISD
* Larsen T., ASTP, Pin Oak Middle School, Houston ISD
Adrian T., Space Adventure, Stevenson Middle School, Houston ISD
Loan T., Saving the Wild, Stevenson Middle School, Houston ISD
Maryam A., Future Nanotechnology, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Giovanni B., Escape the Quake!, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Mreedu B., White Blood Cells to the Rescue, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Evelyn C., Fix It Pablo, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Camaya E., Good Decisions, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Elizabeth F., Rise of the Doctors, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Rahawa G., Nanomachines Strike Back, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Tyteana G., Thomas, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Naja J., Wild Thing, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Robyn L., Grab and Go, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Eliana M. Safe-Proof, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Joanna M., Medicine at a Distance, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Giscar O., Dr. Wifi, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Alessandra Munoz P., Bell the Train, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Maria Perez R., Toxic Escape, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
Sasha S., Out of Time, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD
* Karime V., Surgery at a Distance, Young Women College Preparatory Academy, Houston ISD


About Games for Change:
Games for Change (G4C) is a nonprofit that empowers creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using digital games that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place. G4C incubates game projects; convenes stakeholders, produces game arcades and events to engage the public; teaches game design to educators and youth to advance learning and civic participation; and fosters the exchange of ideas and resources through workshops and consulting projects.

About Globaloria:
Globaloria is a leading provider of computer science education and learning platforms and courses that teach PreK-12 students how to design, prototype, and code educational games and simulations as a means of learning core school subjects, 21st-Century content, and computational innovation skills. Established in 2006, and used by thousands of teachers and students nationwide, the Globaloria social mission is to democratize STEM, gaming, and computing education opportunities necessary for the global innovation industries and the economic development of large cities like San Jose, Austin, Houston, and NYC.

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