Posted in kids, online community, web business

Whyville helping teach future game industry execs

Another group of students will participate in the second half of the three-year program.  In addition to designing games, they’ll learn how to run a business, from hiring to marketing. They’ll earn salaries in Whyville’s currency, the clam. They’ll also be paired with mentors and tour UC Santa Cruz and the headquarters of Google in Mountain View and game-maker Electronic Arts in Redwood City.

Program coordinator Jacob Martinez of ETR Associates said the idea is to show students even if they aren’t interested in technology, there’s plenty of other opportunities in tech-based businesses.

“Game design’s the hook,” he said. “But they are getting all these other skills, too”But persuading girls that technology can be fun is a big part of the program.In other fields, women have caught up with, even surpassed, men, but in computer science and engineering, a gender gap persists.

According to a 2003 National Science Foundation study of graduates, men outnumbered women more than 2-1 in earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science and more than 3-1 in engineering.

ETR’s Jill Denner, who wrote the grant with co-worker Steven Bean and now serves as project director, says there’s even more at stake than the gender gap.”The National Science Foundation recognizes young people aren’t going into information technology at the rate we need to stay competitive,” Denner said.

Gaming class aims to spark girls’ interest in computer careers – By Donna Jones – Sentinel Staff Writer – May 4, 2007

I like this initiative/partnership.  I taught intro game design to this age group before and for the kids it speaks to, the topic really inspires them to learn more. 

Rock-on Whyville.  You are getting ton of press lately – your PR person deserves a raise. 😛

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I am a data & results driven Digital Media Influencer with over 15 years of experience in engagement, family marketing, scaling infrastructure and audience culture across a product’s lifetime from pre-launch to millions of users. Strategic Vision & Business Development: • Articulated corporate integrated digital marketing strategies for 10 children’s entertainment properties across multiple digital channels • Authored a comprehensive business plan for scalable online community infrastructure for internal and external partners and successfully participated in a thorough VC due diligence process • Increased sales revenue by 20% while managing 6 million dollars of annual revenue in existing business services. Production & Project Management: • Developed multiple 2D & 3D multi-player virtual worlds, online games & apps based on repurposed/original assets • Produced 12 animated 2-minute shorts for broadcast on television & developed animation production department workflows • Launched multiple major website redesigns to include more fan interaction • Led workflow & process optimization teams to improve operational effectiveness/productivity. Audience Engagement & Research: • Developed domestic and international audience research programs both on & offline for both parent and children audiences • Grew multiple audiences from pre-launch to tens of millions by using organic, as well as established marketing tactics. Team Management & Relationship Building: • Designed team management & organizational structures for multiple Web Content and Web Marketing departments including international remote teams of staff in North & South America, Europe and Asia. • Managed teams in multiple disciplines, including customer service, social media engagement, production, moderation, marketing, design, tech and content development. • Extensive client, vendor and partner management experience in television, licensing, digital, e-commerce & customer service industries

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