In 1957, Russia's launch of the Sputnik satellite piqued widespread fear that if America didn't shape-up, we might lose our status as global leaders in science and technology.
The "Sputnik moment" lead to America's unprecedented national commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The public, private and educational sectors within the United States focused massive resources on developing the nation's STEM capacities. As a result, the U.S. became the first nation to land human beings on the moon in 1969, and what would later be known as the Internet was developed, revolutionizing communications, education, and commerce.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon
Fast-forward to 2010 and it is clear that America faces a "new Sputnik moment."
Other countries have developed national broadband strategies and are graduating most of the world's new engineers, mathematicians, and scientists. The U.S. must innovate or abdicate its leadership in this area.
In recognition of this crisis and the need to re-focus on STEM, the World Wide Workshop, in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education and US Senator Jay Rockefeller as Honorary Chair, launched the 1st Annual Globaloria-WV STEM Games Competition on Wednesday, March 10.
From left to right: Monica Beane (WV Dept. of Ed); Gaston Caperton (Former Governor & Globaloria Advisory Board member); Jay Rockefeller (US Senator); Idit Caperton (Founder & President of World Wide Workshop); and David Lowenstein (State Director, Globaloria-WV)
Globaloria students in West Virginia public schools who choose to create web games that teach Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics concepts are eligible to enter the competition. A panel of distinguished STEM practitioners, policy makers, and game design experts will judge the students’ games. Winners will be announced on June 10. The student team that receives the highest score will win free laptops and get to present their game to the leadership at the White House Office of Science Technology Policy. Their games will also be featured on several websites nationwide.
We are excited to establish West Virginia as a national leader in STEM-learning with the Globaloria-WV community. In the words of World Wide Workshop founder and president, Dr. Idit Harel Caperton:
"The Globaloria program – through its wiki-based game design and Web 2.0 curriculum and its constructionist learning theory – has been advancing the STEM skills of West Virginia students and educators since the program’s inception. Now, with the 1st Annual Globaloria-WV STEM Games Competition, we are significantly enhancing our contribution to the nationwide effort to move America to the top of the pack in math and science education.”
By David Lowenstein, State Director, Globaloria-WV