We are pleased to announce that AMD and the AMD Foundation, in support of AMD Changing the Game, will be funding a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary game design program to be administered to Martin and Mendez Middle School students through a collaboration with AISD’s ACE Afterschool Program and long-time community partner, Austin Film Society. Martin and Mendez will kick off the film and game design program with a three-week game design and filmmaking summer learning opportunity. This enrichment program will be co-taught by an AFS instructor and a certified teacher from each school. Armed with new technologies and newly-honed strategies, these teachers will integrate game design into their school-day lessons in the 2012-13 academic year. Participating AFS instructors will do the same in their afterschool clubs, strengthening the connection between school-day learning and out-of-school time enrichment.
AMD’s generous grant will fund professional development for two AISD teachers and two AFS instructors. Additionally, AMD will furnish Martin and Mendez with a set of laptops and all camera equipment, software and licensing associated with the program. The AMD Foundation has been a leading proponent of integrating game design and education through AMD Changing the Game, an initiative designed to inspire youth to learn critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through the creation of video games around social issues. We are excited both by their generosity and foresight—AMD’s desire to bring game design to the classroom of an ELA or Social Studies teacher gives us an opportunity to connect technology to topics not typically explore through digital activities.
Their commitment to high-quality, engaging STEM afterschool programs make Austin Film Society an ideal collaborator for this initiative, which would not be possible without Community Education Manager Katy Daiger Dial’s work building the grant proposal and general plan for the game design program.
In addition to giving AISD students an opportunity to participate in a truly innovative program, this summer learning opportunity is a way for the ACE Afterschool Program to address additional challenges that AISD struggles to overcome, like bridging the digital divide and combating summer recidivism.