DRIVING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH EDUCATION
According to U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, the number of computer science Bachelor degrees awarded from 2008-2009 decreased 36.1% from 2003-2004. In 2010, DARPA launched a $14.2 million effort called Computer Science-STEM (CS-STEM), which brings a computer science focus to a portfolio of STEM programs that includes ENGAGE, INSPIRE and MENTOR. The goal is to accelerate the rate of computer science innovation by encouraging students toward education and careers in the field. The question then arises, how do you make learning fun so kids want to participate?
A program milestone was reached recently for CS-STEM with the release of an educational gaming website built by TopCoder members. TopCoder members built www.NoNameSite.com, a community that seeks to provide competitive and collaborative games, contests and online events for 13-18 year olds. NoNameSite.com has 8 fun, addicting games that start off easy and increase in difficulty. Eventually, as the members of the community progress in the game levels, they are applying CS-STEM skills. Members are incentivized with prizes to show they are being rewarded for their efforts.
-- NoNameSite.com supports DARPA’s CS-STEM initiative and is continuously gaining new members with new games, prizes and contests. NoNameSite.com gives students an extra-curricular activity that encourages STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) with a focus on Computer Science.
-- Students are learning in a fun, interactive environment that encourages continued learning with rewards and prizes. New, unique features like the level editor, the School of Code, and design your own avatars, make NoNameSite.com a one stop shop for students to have fun and learn.