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 AMD, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and Scholastic Launch Free Online Game Development Portal for Teachers

Video game design curricula engage students while building STEM skills
SUNNYVALE, Calif. 2/23/2011

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the AMD Foundation, in collaboration with the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Scholastic Inc., has created Level Up!, a comprehensive online teaching resource providing curricula and tools for middle and high school educators working to improve science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and language arts skills—all while students design video games. The site, which is designed to capture students’ interests while they learn, represents the second time AMD and the Alliance have teamed up as part of AMD’s education initiative, AMD Changing the Game.

Level Up! is one of the most comprehensive sites of its kind, offering free, practical curriculum and tools for teaching video game design to middle and high school students. The site, www.scholastic.com/createvideogames, is hosted by Scholastic Inc., the title corporate sponsor and founder of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s oldest and most prestigious program recognizing young creative teen talent. The site incorporates beginner and intermediate levels, allowing easy use for new and seasoned teachers alike, as well as informational videos, sample student-produced games, and spotlights on tools, classroom-based lessons, and resources. Level Up! features two game design teaching tools: Gamestar Mechanic is designed for beginner to intermediate levels, and Activate! is designed for intermediate to advanced levels.

“Video game design is an excellent but underutilized educational tool,” said Allyson Peerman, President, AMD Foundation. “Through AMD’s collaboration with the Alliance and Scholastic, we are now able to deliver valuable resources to thousands of teachers and youth experts across the country.”

The AMD/Alliance Relationship

AMD’s relationship with the Alliance is an outgrowth of its signature education initiative AMD Changing the Game. The AMD program is designed to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a nonprofit organization that runs the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, recognizing and supporting teenagers’ intellectual creativity, innovation and artistic talent. Last year, with sponsorship from AMD, the Alliance launched a video game design category in the Awards competition, and in doing so, highlighted the value of game design to teachers and students. One goal of Level Up! is to increase awareness in the educational community about the potential of new technologies and the importance of investing resources in this field.

“We know that teachers are looking for new classroom tools but increasingly face tight budgets and packed schedules,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The Level Up! web site addresses these challenges by delivering a robust resource and curriculum that teachers can use on day one.”

During its 88-year history, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has recognized more than 13 million creative teenagers, including Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Zac Posen, and Sylvia Plath. In the 2011 program year, the Alliance received more than 500 student submissions for its video game design category.

AMD Changing the Game

AMD Changing the Game is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills. The initiative is rooted in AMD’s commitment to and experience in supporting education, and the company’s passion and expertise in the graphics processor and gaming industries.

Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has:

About the AMD Foundation

The AMD Foundation connects and empowers individuals with knowledge, thereby opening doors to opportunity. The Foundation’s signature program, AMD Changing the Game, supports initiatives designed to help youth harness the power of digital games with social content, while learning critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and life skills. The Foundation also funds the AMD Employee Giving Program which supports AMD employees’ community interests by matching their personal donations of time and money to local organizations and schools.

Supporting Resources



About AMD

AMD (NYSE: AMD) is a semiconductor design innovator leading the next era of vivid digital experiences with its ground-breaking AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APU). AMD’s graphics and computing technologies power a variety of solutions including PCs, game consoles and the servers that drive the Internet and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.

About The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Awards program continues to provide a platform for creative expression for millions of students across the country as the Alliance brings outstanding visual art and writing created by teenagers to a national audience and encourages their creative journey and career development. In addition to awarding annual scholarships to top portfolio award recipients, the Alliance collaborates with colleges across the country that make an additional $3.9 million in financial aid available to award recipients with exceptional promise. For more information on the Alliance and The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, please visit www.artandwriting.org. Media inquiries: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting

    AMD PR Contact:
    Catherine Greenlaw
    AMD Communications
    512.602.2292
    Catherine.greenlaw@amd.com

    Alliance for Young Artists & Writers PR Contact:
    Cathy Lasiewicz
    Scholastic Inc.
    212.343.6570
    clasiewicz@scholastic.com

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