George Lu and Tony Pan. Three Trials of Tito. Grade 8, Age 13. 2010 Gold Medal, Video Games.

You might already know the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have a video game design category (sponsored by AMD!). But did you know that now teachers have a place to go to online to find tools for their students to design their own video games? AMD Foundation, the Alliance and Scholastic come together thanks to AMD Changing the Game, to bring you video gaming excitement and education with a new online initiative – Level Up!

Level Up! is an online resource for teachers where they can find curricula, tools and platforms for their students to create video games, all entirely free. Hosted by Scholastic Inc. at www.scholastic.com/createvideogames, Level Up! is an opportunity for educators to strengthen students’ science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and language arts skills while having them build unique digital games. There are game-design teaching tools for all levels of gaming knowledge at Level Up! For those at the beginning to intermediate levels, there’s Gamestar Mechanic, and gaming veterans can use Activate.

In addition to the lessons and design tools at Level Up!, you can find other resources such as informational videos and sample student games. Students using Level Up! are encouraged to submit their original games to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the opportunity to earn scholarships and recognition.

Level Up! marks the second time AMD and the Alliance come together in the name of video gaming. The category was first introduced to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards last year with sponsorship from AMD and proved to be a hit as submissions in video game design more than doubled this year. Teachers across the country now have access to these free tools and technology thanks to Level Up! Take a spin at it- simply choose your design tool, teach a lesson, encourage award submissions, and it’s game on.

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