The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a joint research endeavor of Microsoft Research, New York University, and other universities, has received two grants as part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Inc.
Under a $250,700 grant, G4LI will team up with two educational partners to foster creativity, innovation, inquiry, and math competency in middle school students through game design. Working with the New York City Department of Education’s School of One--a new school design that offers individualized instruction to students--and the Urban Assembly Institute of Math & Science for Young Women, a charter school in Brooklyn, G4LI will form the Create to Learn Network (C2L). C2L will be dedicated to helping middle-school students design, test, and review math games of their choosing.
In collaboration with the G4LI team, 7th and 8th grade girls from the Urban Assembly Institute of Math & Science for Young Women will create innovative ways to teach and learn math content by designing 6th grade math games. Starting with the game idea, they will create game mechanics and build and test paper prototypes. Then, with the help of the G4LI researchers or on their own, the girls will build computer-based prototypes. In addition, G4LI team members will mentor girls at the Urban Assembly Institute of Math & Science for Young Women in all aspects of design, prototyping, and playtesting. Boys and girls at the School of One and at other New York City middle schools will be involved in a study testing the games’ effectiveness for learning. G4LI will also introduce the design patterns it has developed as part of its research—high-level solutions to commonly occurring problems in the design of learning games.
Under a second grant of $31,700, G4LI will sponsor a games competition to be held at NYU in December. Under the competition, game creators will develop games to teach a STEM topic (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) of their choosing. The developers will need to develop games that G4LI research has shown can enhance learning in a variety of ways.
The G4LI is a joint research endeavor of Microsoft Research and a consortium of universities. The partners include: Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY), Dartmouth College, Parsons, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University, and Teachers College as well as NYU. The Institute’s aim is to identify which qualities of computer games engage students and develop relevant, personalized teaching strategies that can be applied to the learning process.
Innovation Generation is a part of Motorola’s efforts to engage youth in STEM education. In addition to funding, G4LI will receive ongoing support from a Motorola employee through the company’s “Innovators” employee volunteer program, which utilizes the expertise of Motorola’s workforce to inspire the next generation of inventors.
Since 2007, more than $20.5 million has been awarded to STEM programs nationwide through Innovation Generation funding. For more information on the grant program, please visit www.motorola.com/giving.
About New York University
New York University, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities. It is one of the largest private universities, it has one of the largest contingents of international students, and it sends more students to study abroad than any other college or university in the U.S. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and dramatic arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.
About Games for Learning Institute:
The multi-institutional Games for Learning Institute studies the educational use of digital games, and investigates their socio-cultural, cognitive, and emotional impact. It develops design patterns for effective educational games that industry partners can draw on to assure high quality when designing their own games for learning. Its current focus is on games that teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to middle-school students. For more on the G4LI, go to: http://g4li.org.
About the Motorola Foundation
The Motorola Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information, on Motorola Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorola.com/giving.