IBM Highlights The Science Behind The Latest Videogames
Middle School Students Encouraged to Pursue Math and Science
Nov. 30, 2006 01:00 AM
IBM highlighted the deep science behind the latest video games and encouraged middle school students to pursue careers in math and science at an open house at the company’s $3 billion East Fishkill, New York, microchip manufacturing center, which produces the chips that power the latest systems from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
IBM will distribute an education package, including print, video and other multi-media materials, to members of IBM’s On Demand Community, IBM’s global volunteer initiative with nearly 80,000 employees and retirees, highlighting the technology behind the latest video game systems and encouraging students to embrace math and science education at an early age.
Educational sessions at East Fishkill were led by Dr. Michael Nelson, IBM’s director of Internet Technology and Strategy. “The introduction of next generation systems from the leaders in video gaming offers a unique opportunity to reinforce the importance of math and science education at the earliest possible age,” said Nelson. “Kids love gaming, and math and science make games possible.”
“There is so much opportunity for students in the technical fields, and gaming is opening many new and exciting options,” said Robin Willner, vice president of IBM Global Community Initiatives. “But in order for students to play in the future of gaming, they need to be prepared academically. Today we’re trying to make that connection for the students in a fun, interactive way.”
At the open house, students from Bronx and Dutchess counties attended a presentation about gaming technology and how it is changing education, health care, energy exploration and other industries. Students saw applications such as a 3-D rendering of the human heart and met Jai, IBM’s gaming representative in the digital world. In addition, students had the opportunity to experience first hand the next generation of gaming consoles and meet some of the IBM employees responsible for developing the chips that power them.
“An important factor in keeping kids engaged in math and science is making the subjects interesting and relevant to them,” said Willner. “Gaming technology is fun and helps us demonstrate that science and technology careers are fun and full of opportunities, too. Taking gaming technology to students is the perfect next step in IBM’s work to encourage students to stick with their math and science studies.”
According to Willner, “It’s never too early to start learning about the science behind gaming.” Starting with pre-K students, IBM’s KidSmart Early Learning Program introduces children to math and science through its Young Explorer computers equipped with early-learning educational software housed in colorful children’s desk furniture.