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  /  Blog   /  Awards announced for the STEAM STEM career competition – Future App Game Designer Challenge 2014 – Lighting Strikes Twice – El Rancho Charter School Students Get Top Honors in Middle School Games and Women Designed Game Divisions.

Awards announced for the STEAM STEM career competition – Future App Game Designer Challenge 2014 – Lighting Strikes Twice – El Rancho Charter School Students Get Top Honors in Middle School Games and Women Designed Game Divisions.


Steve Waddell

I Support Learning, Inc. / Support Learning Foundation


Awards announced for the STEAM STEM career competition –  Future App Game Designer Challenge 2014 – Lighting Strikes Twice – El Rancho Charter School Students Get Top Honors in Middle School Games and Women Designed Game Divisions.  

Olathe Kansas June 3, 2014 – The Support Learning Foundation (SLF) announced the Women Designed and Middle School Division winners of the 8th Annual Future App Game Designer Challenge, a competition for middle and high school students to create the next generation of mobile apps and edutainment games.

Teams from El Rancho Charter School’s Video Game Design took 1st, 2nd and 3rd Places in the Middle School Edutainment Division and 1st  Place in the Women Designed Edutainment Game Division. The students learned of their win today as part of the school’s morning announcements. Troy Coffey (teacher) learned about the wins in a call with Steve Waddell, the founder of I Support Learning, Inc (the creator of the competition).

2014 saw competitors from all over the US. Middle and High school students created a wide array of engaging games to teach students a variety of topics. This year the games fell into 2 main topics Math and History.

All of these games had three main things in common. The first is they are fun to play. Secondly, they engage learners in active learning, and third they support state learning standards.

“STEAM and STEM careers require creativity and we want students to be get recognized for being creative.” Commented Steve Waddell the foundation’s founder; “Our challengers are told that the first thing you have to worry about in getting a student to learn, is to get them engaged.

So, our competition has these STEAM / STEM students creating games that draw the players in. Get them hooked and engaged then use the opportunity to have the player interact with the concepts and, of course, learn.

Also, as this is our 8th year we had to do something new and so we announced this year the addition of our mobile apps divisions. This was the announcement year and next year we’ll see our first competitors in these new divisions.

Along with the new division came a name change for our competition. We are now the Future App Game Designer Challenge. www.futureappgame.com – the premiere Mob App and Game competition for STEAM and STEM education.“

Troy’s class submitted 6 games this year and they all were fantastic. Mission Manager stood out from the crowd as it was a true simulation and was designed to give the player the chance to experience the challenges of managing a mission in the early days of California. “Very interesting, challenging and thoughtful game.

I had a feeling it was going to win the middle school division as soon as we showed it to the judging team.” said Donna Goodman who is the STEM Course Implementation Director with CTeLearning.com.

Donna helped with the game reviews. “I am very proud of Troy and his students. Year after year they have always submitted great games. Troy is an awesome STEAM educator.”

El Rancho Charter School Team National Rankings

Women Design Edutainment Division

1st Place-      Adobe Brick Builder

By Jessica Octavio


Middle School Edutainment Division

First Place –   Mission Manager

By Joshua Fleck, Michael Cordova

Second Place –         Mission Manager

By Lance Mahoney, Brock Rivera

3rd Place –      Mine Runner

By Zachary Yuan, John Le

“This is a big part of our end of the school year. My students love working on their games in the development teams. They really look forward to this competition and creating games that matter and help others.

It makes the learning feel real and what they are doing in class is more relevant to them. This is real world problem solving and critical thinking all with the edge of a competition. It is fun to watch them so motivated and engaged in my class.

It really is a terrific capstone to my video game design class,” said Troy Coffey “In class my STEM students prove how they can work on teams and are becoming prepared with the 21st century skills they will need to succeed.

This competition gives them a place where they can see how their work stacks up to other students who are also investing in learning through a career themed approach. This is never easy for them. They have to work at it and I am always impressed and proud of their work. They all learned the importance of sticking to a project to the end.“

“This is so much fun to see. Wow – awesome job by the El Rancho Charter teams. Their school and specifically Troy’s class continues to create more competitive games in their 3D video game design program and it is great to see the next generation of designers and creators rising up to the challenge” continues Steve Waddell. “Our judges and I enjoyed the six games Troy’s school submitted.

Special congrats to the Mission Manager and Adobe Brick Builder teams. This competition shows the validity of having students create games, peer created games, to help teach other students.

With the Future App Game Designer Challenge we see students rise up to the challenge and make useful edutainment games. Games that are worthwhile and fun. Games that teach. Think about the power of having games created by students for students. It is what our competition is all about – learners as creators”

As part of the competition students had to turn in a developers log, document their code, show how their game helped meet state and national learning standards, create marketing materials like posters, cd cases, cd labels.

They had to create an engaging storyline and then make the game and game play support the story concept.

All this while making sure their games had real educational value. Steve Waddell the founder of I Support Learning, Inc. and one of the judges stated. “One purpose to this competition is to get students to take responsibility to help the next generation. It is why our competition is about creating edutainment games.

It is fun to see what happens when you give students the keys to the car, so to speak, and let them drive the game to whatever destination they choose.”

The students learned their game design skills through an innovative career simulation curriculum created by I Support Learning, Inc. Troy Coffey uses the Video Game Design course as a way to introduce students to programming via a highly interactive career simulation that makes learning math, language, science, technology and 21st century skills very engaging to the digital native.

To the learner the course is an interactive role-play game that looks and feels like a real high-tech internship. Students come into the class with little or no programming skills and leave with their own 3D video game. Troy has been using the ISL’s Video Game Design career themed course since 2008.

“We were very fortunate in our sponsorship team this year. We have a number of other sponsors including Web Professionals Organization, ITWomen.org, The Engineering, Computer Science and Technology Department at Cal State LA and CTe Learning, Et Tu Create LLC., I Support Learning, Inc.

About The Support Learning Foundation.

SLF (www.supportlearningfoundation.org)  The Support Learning Foundation believes that education – if encouraged and provided – can allow individuals to achieve their dreams and maximize their potential. Therefore, the Support Learning Foundation is committed to creating change by providing research, development, and deployment of innovative methodologies and technologies. SLF was founded by I Support Learning, Inc, owner Steve Waddell in 2007.

About CTeLearning

CTeLearning.com / I Support Learning, Inc. is an educational curriculum designer and publisher specializing in online and blended learning courses, career themed courses and career simulations that fulfill STEM and STEAM Career, Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics standards.

Many STEM courses with industry certifications. CTeL courses include Mobile Application Design, Coding and Video Game Design, Animation, Building Green, and Web Development. CTeLearning’s innovative STEM and STEAM products are in secondary and post secondary education schools around the world.  www.CTeLearning.com