For Immediate Release                                                                                    WXXI logo
Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253



WXXI Receives National STEM Video Game Challenge Grant to Support Its Efforts

(Rochester, NY) January 19, 2012 – WXXI was selected as one of 12 public television stations by PBS KIDS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to host a community outreach event to encourage game submissions for the PBS KIDS stream in the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge.

Supported nationally by CPB and PBS KIDS through the Ready To Learn Initiative, the contest is inspired by the “Educate to Innovate Campaign,” President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The Challenge is an annual competition to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.

As one of the 12 stations, WXXI will create awareness among middle school, high school, college students, and educators about the Challenge and the PBS KIDS stream to create engaging math games for young children. The initiative will demonstrate how simple it is for students and educators to use free, open source software to design and submit games to the PBS KIDS stream of the Challenge.

The 2012 Challenge features four entry categories: Middle School, High School, Collegiate and Educator.  Within each category, PBS KIDS is challenging participants to develop educational games for children ages 4-8 that focus on specific math skills. Contestants can find insights and more information about the Challenge on, including resources that help guide game production for young children and interviews with top PBS KIDS game producers. 

Entries will be accepted through March 12, 2012 at   At the end of the competition, the winning games for the PBS KIDS STREAM will be featured on the PBS KIDS Lab and PBS LearningMedia websites.

As part of this community initiative, WXXI will partner with Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Games & Media to host a private event for RIT students and area middle school, high school students from community youth partner programs on Saturday, January 28, 2012. The event will include an introduction to “Breaking into the Industry” with RIT Professor David I. Schwartz Ph.D.  Middle school and high school participants will take part in a workshop with Michael Angst, CEO of E-Line Media, a publisher of game-based learning products and services. WXXI will also partner with the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE) to promote and host a statewide webinar on the Challenge for educators. (For more details about the educator webinar visit:

More about the National STEM Video Game Challenge
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media launched the 2nd annual Challenge in partnership with the Digital Promise, a new initiative created by the President and Congress, supported through the U.S. Department of Education. 

PBS KIDS and CPB are participating in the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge as part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, a grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement. 

The Ready To Learn Initiative supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families, including over 40 new cross-platform games designed to help children ages 2-8 build critical math skills, which are now available at Its goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children.  In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness. 

About WXXI
WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

About RIT
The RIT community engages and motivates students through stimulating and collaborative experiences. RIT’s mission is to provide technology-based educational programs for personal and professional development. RIT is committed to mutually enriching relationships with alumni, government, business and the world community. Teaching, learning, scholarship, leadership development, and student success are our central enterprises.

The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education is a non-profit, professional organization representing more than 7,000 technology using educators and administrators in New York State. NYSCATE is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and cooperates with such partners as the New York State Education Department, state and national educational organizations, private sector corporations, and publishers to further the use of technology in our schools. NYSCATE is involved in helping define statewide policy regarding the use of technologies in education.

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About CPB
CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 and is steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.  It helps support the operation of more than 1,300 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. U295A100025, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


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