Passport to Hi-Tech

Passport_To_HiTech-LogoMore than 1,200 girls ages 7-12 expected to explore STEM interests, careersMarch 5 at Passport to Hi-Tech

FISHERS, Ind. (Thursday, March 3, 2016) – Jocelyn Dunn is well on her way to becoming an astronaut, a dream she’s had since she was a young girl. At age 28, the Purdue University industrial engineering doctoral student has accomplished some impressive feats, earning a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and living eight months in a simulated Martian habitat.

In 2014, Dunn and a team of five other researchers lived in abandoned quarry about 8,000 feet above sea level in a domed structure on a volcano slope on the Big Island of Hawaii. The team was part of a NASA-funded study of human factors that affect team performance during long-term space travel, like a mission to Mars.

“We as a team went out and explored the area in full space suits as if we were the first Mars explorers,” Dunn said. “We would get tasks assigned to us from our Mission Control and explore the terrain. This was the most astronaut-like thing that we did and the most enjoyable part for me was putting on the suit and feeling all of the physical and mental challenges of exploring.”

Nearly 1,200 girls with aspirations mirroring Dunn’s when she was young can talk with female science and technology leaders and participate in hands-on, interactive activities March 5 at the third annual Passport to Hi-Tech, a partnership between Conner Prairie and Women & Hi Tech.

Read More

Gamification: K-12 Teachers Game the System to Innovate Education

promo_gamification_470x246Guest Post by Kelsey Voss

Gamification, applying game-designed thinking to non-gaming applications, is a tool that’s grown in popularity and is creatively advancing education in the United States.

Educators see the gamification of teaching as a way to “take a more active role in learning” as students “develop the technology skills they need to succeed throughout their academic and professional careers,” according to Scientific American. Gaming needs to “leverage engagement, mindset and design,” says Maker Mom Marie Bjerede.

Read More

Official Rules and prize information for the Young Game Developer Challenge at Indy PopCon are now online!

Official Rules and prize information for the Young Game Developer Challenge at Indy PopCon are now online!

We are getting very excited for our first ever Young Game Developer Challenge happening at Indy PopCon on June 27th! We invite all aspiring game inventors ages 6-17 to head over to the Indy PopCon site to check out the official rules and fill in an entry form before June 22nd.

We’ve got amazing prizes up for grabs from EA Games and Activision Blizzard, as well as scholarships from IUPUI andeBash summer camp. You don’t need to have a fully finished game to enter. The most important thing is having a great game IDEA. Do you have one?

Palooza News Volunteers needed for Charity Arcade, June 26-28th.

Love games and have a few hours to give up for a good cause? We’ve teamed up with ExtraLife to create a retro arcade at Indy PopCon on June 26-28th.  Indy PopCon goers will be able to play classic games like Frogger and Pac Man with proceeds going to support Riley Hospital for Children. Our volunteers will get free access to Indy PopCon and a T-shirt (not to mention some very good karma).

If you’re interested, please email: with “Volunteer Application” in the subject line and let us know your availability on those dates. You can learn more about our Volunteer program by visiting our Volunteer Page at this link.

Satya Nadella: Microsoft’s Minecraft purchase will help kids learn about science and technology

Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of the game developer Mojang and its hugely successful Minecraft series wasn’t just about adding a new game franchise to the Xbox division. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said today that it will also be a big boost in helping kids learn more about science and technology.

Nadella made those remarks as part of a annual luncheon at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce today, According to GeekWire, Nadella said:

“If you talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, the best way to introduce anyone to STEM or get their curiosity going on, it’s Minecraft … So I think what this open-world phenomenon will mean to the community at large, for people who builders, is pretty big, and we are very excited about the acquisition, obviously.”

Nadella also said that his own 10 year old daughter asked him this morning if he knew about Microsoft acquiring Minecraft. Do you think Nadella’s vision for the game is a proper one or should it just be about offering an entertaining game experience?

Here is the link directly to the article

STEM Video Game Challenge announced for young video game developers!

Video Game Palooza announced today the STEM Video Game Challenge for young video game developers in conjunction with the Reboot Indie Game Awards during Indy Pop Con.

A separate STEM challenge competition will be conducted during Indy Pop Con, 2015 (June 26-26, 2015) at the Indiana Convention Center.

Students under the age of 18 will compete in presenting their ideas to benefit STEM learning and education.

So what is STEM? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM education integrates concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects in different classes and emphasizes the application of knowledge to real-life situations. A lesson or unit in a STEM class is typically based around finding a solution to a real-world problem and tends to emphasize project-based learning.

Information will be forthcoming for details for the STEM challenge. Please check back or sign up with our newsletter to keep informed.

Here is the full relase: