MacArthur Foundation Works With White House to Spur Math, Science Education

MacArthur Foundation Works With White House to Spur Math, Science Education

As part of a White House-sponsored campaign to improve math and science education in the United States, the has announced a $2 million digital media competition designed to generate ideas with the potential to transform learning.

Supported by a grant to the and announced in partnership with , an initiative designed to revitalize science, technology, engineering, and math in schools, the will seek to identify designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others to construct digital media experiences that help young people interact, share, build, tinker, and explore in new and innovative ways.

Sony Computer Entertainment America, in partnership with the and the , will team with MacArthur to support Game Changers, which will provide awards for the creation of new game experiences using PlayStation's popular video game LittleBigPlanet. SCEA also will donate a thousand PlayStation3 systems and copies of the LittleBigPlanet game to libraries and community-based organizations in low-income communities.

According to the , the White House campaign, Educate to Innovate, will focus on activities outside the classroom, with television stations such as the Science Channel providing commercial-free afternoon scheduling geared toward middle school and programs such as Sesame Street adding a two-year focus on science. In addition, Time Warner Cable has set up a Web site, , that provides a searchable directory of local science activities.

"Digital media, including games, are the learning labs of the future, and this open competition encourages people to consider creative new ways to use digital media to create learning environments that are engaging, immersive, and participatory," said Connie Yowell, MacArthur's director of education. "This competition will help ensure that the new and highly engaging approaches to science, technology, engineering, and math find their way into schools, libraries, museums, and other spaces for learning."

Kenneth Chang. "." New York Times 11/22/2009. "." John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Press Release 11/23/2009.