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AMD’s game changer?

This morning, semiconductor producer AMD announced “AMD Changing the Game,” an education initiative designed to empower youth to learn critical life skills through games with social content. The launch accompanies AMD’s sponsorship and participation at the fifth annual Games for Change festival held June 3 – 4 at Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

Starting with a limited scope, AMD Changing the Game will support the following non-profit partner organizations that serve their mission:

  • Girlstart (Austin, TX): created to empower girls in the subjects of math, science, and technology
  • Global Kids (Brooklyn, NY): seeks to transform urban youth into successful students and community leaders
  • Institute for Urban Game Design (Washington DC): teaches science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills through the hands-on creation of digital games
  • Science Buddies (Carmel, CA): offers a variety of web-based tools that help K-12 students explore science through research-based projects often done at Science Fairs and other school and community events
  • 5th Annual Games for Change Festival (New York, NY): dedicated to creating and using digital games for positive social change

…and, it appears they’re welcoming additional grant applications.

Two grant opportunities for innovators in education

keyhole2.gifTwo grant opportunities for innovators in education landed on my desk recently. The first is a little bit of old news: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced a public competition that will award $2 million in funding to emerging leaders, communicators, and innovators shaping the field of digital media and learning. The competition is part of MacArthur’s $50 million Digital Media and Learning initiative that aims to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Awards will be given in two categories:

  • Innovation Awards will support learning entrepreneurs and builders of new digital environments for informal learning. Winners will receive $250,000 or $100,000.
  • Knowledge Networking Awards will support communicators in connecting, mobilizing, circulating or translating new ideas around digital media and learning. Winners will receive a $30,000 base award and up to $75,000.

h_logo.gifThe second is The Mind Trust’s Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide promising education entrepreneurs with an opportunity to develop sustainable solutions to the most daunting public education challenges. The prize is intended to revitalize the educational competitiveness of Indianapolis. Corrie Heneghan, the Trust’s COO, writes:

In short, the Fellowship is for people who envision entirely new approaches to the challenges of public education, and possess the relentless drive necessary to exploit opportunities to fulfill their visions. Fellows will receive a full-time, competitive salary, benefits, office space, and customized training and support. Fellows will be based at The Mind Trust’s offices in Indianapolis. The term of the Fellowship is two years, with the first fellows beginning their work in late spring 2008. The Mind Trust is currently accepting applications. While all fellows must include Indianapolis in the areas served by the ventures they launch, they will by no means be limited to that geography. In fact, we hope and fully expect some fellows to start regional or national enterprises.

The perks look good. The two-year fellowship includes a $5,000 annual stipend for travel and a $5,000 annual stipend for professional development in addition to a $90,000 salary.