To put a plug in the summer brain drain, Tabula Digita is hosting the U Games Summer Challenge, an online educational video game tournament. The competition consists of five rounds of virtual play, each lasting two weeks. Students in grades 3–8 can enter the nationwide virtual tournament. Once registered, students compete against their peers across the country, while reinforcing their understanding of fractions and complex equations, or reviewing parts of speech and language conventions. (This year the game-based learning solution features two game selections: DimensionM, a cache of lessons that offer students an opportunity to master more than 200 math skills, and DimensionL, the latest immersive game that gives students a way to practice more than 200 essential literacy skills.) Student players can join the free competition at any time during the 10-week event, even if they did not participate in an earlier round. They can play one of four missions—either in the multiplayer format or by themselves. Scores are computed based on game-play skills as well as on strategy, academic performance and immediate “need-to-know-the-answer” outcomes. All players will be competing for a chance to win gift cards and summer-related prizes; five players will randomly be selected to win an iPod Nano. Also new this year is a social networking component, which encourages students to build online “learning communities” comprised of friends, family, community members or even their teachers ... anyone who wants to help support the child’s academic efforts in the games during the summer. Participants who earn the highest number of social network points in each tournament round will win prizes separate from those awarded for game-play performance.
Deadline: Competition runs from May 30, 2011 through August 7, 2011
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