The National STEM Video Game Challenge is now accepting entries for its annual competition, hosted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media. Submissions of original video game concepts and designs from students and educators are currently being accepted through March 12.

The challenge aims to motivate students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by tapping into their natural passion for playing and making video games. The STEM competition is divided into four categories for individuals and teams: middle school, high school, collegiate, and educator.

Entries can be created by using any game-making platform, including, but not limited to, written concepts, Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab, GameMaker, and Scratch.

Winners in the middle and high school category will receive AMD-based laptops, game design software packages, and other tools to support their skill development. Each winner’s youth-sponsoring organization will receive cash prizes and educational software. A prize pool of $30,000 will be awarded to collegiate-category winners, and a prize pool of $40,000 will be awarded to winners in the educator category.

Sponsors for the STEM competition include the AMD Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/PBS Kids Ready To Learn Initiative, the Entertainment Software Association, and Xbox 360. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available here.

This post was originally written by Ericka Johnson and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.