Last year we spoke to AMD briefly about its new Changing the Game initiative and while there wasn’t much to tell then, AMD is still at it a year on. We caught up with the company yesterday for a little one on one and asked how things had progessed in the since the launch and more importantly how things will go over the next 12 months.
When it was announced, AMD’s Changing the Game was the first effort from the newly formed AMD foundation dedicated to supporting initiatives that encourage and facilitate science, technology, engineering and math learning for current and future generations (STEM skills). In June of last year AMD said it planned to award grants to non-profit organization aimed at improving technical skills by teaching children to develop games with social content.
The idea is to educate kids and bring them a new set of skills that have become just as relevant (if not more) than learning about algebra and conjunctions. Since our last update, AMD has funded four nonprofit organizations that enable youth game development, dabbled in Teen Second Life (we’re not quite sure about that one), and provided funding for an online toolkit that will help nonprofits develop games based around social issues.
However, we’re more interested in the development of a youth game-development curriculum with PETLab and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. PETLab has just finished testing the curriculum in five pilot cities in the U.S.
Allyson Peerman, President of the AMD Foundation yesterday told us they plan on running a full year of the game-development classes with 6th graders in Austin, Texas.
We’ve made AMD promise to get back to us with feedback from the kids and teachers once the classes start but we’re interested in hearing what you think about teaching kids these skills at such a young age. While we’re all for kids these days learning anything that could help them get ahead in the digital world, there are always a small group of people who think school curriculum should be kept to traditional English, Math, History and a foreign language. If this kind of class was offered for your kid, would you want them to take it? Let us know!
And for all students going off to college, I would suggest taking as many (pure) mathematics and English courses as possible. The world can do with more people who can speak and write effectively and think rationally.
Games are a great way to learn to program. Not only is it more interesting to learn over making a RSS feed or programming a calculator, it enforces OOP without even trying.
Hopefully this is not the intention.
PD: The post was a satire; I acknowledge that sports are part of a healthy living.