Two Students from the Same School Win National STEM Video Game Challenge
(As featured in the Winter 2018 edition of Independent School Magazine)
In August 2017, two students from Milwaukee Montessori School (WI) emerged from 3,000 students entries as winners in the middle school division of the National STEM Video Game Challenge competition in New York City. Milwaukee Montessori School is the only school in the country to have a National STEM Video Game Challenge winner in 2012 and then two more in 2017.
“We are extremely proud of Zoe Plunkett and Himani Chonkar and their amazing achievements,” says Monica Van Aken, head of school at Milwaukee Montessori School. “Our STEM education program and teachers have become national leaders in crafting and adopting innovative curriculum and programs that result in these excellent student outcomes.”
Zoe designed a scratch game that allows players to learn about the digestive system, while Himani’s STEM obstacle course, a game design document she wrote, challenges players to journey through a land filled with a castle, giant mountain, and trolls.
To participate in the STEM Challenge, students develop original video games and game design concepts in platforms such as GameMaker, Gamestar Mechanic, Scratch, and Unity. The competition started in 2010 through the White House’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign. This year, 23 middle and high school students emerged as winners in the STEM Challenge.
Each winning student received $1,000, a consultation with a game industry professional, and a subscription to a game design magazine.
To view Zoe and Himani’s work and learn more about the competition, visit stemchallenge.org.