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ThoughtSTEM Receives $330k NSF Grant for Online Course Development

We're very excited about this announcement from the National Science Foundation! Thank you to the whole ThoughtSTEM Team - curriculum developers, educators, and admin! Without everyone's hard work, we wouldn't have received this supplemental funding.

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ThoughtSTEM, LLC, a San Diego-based company teaching computer science skills to students ages five to eighteen, has received a $330k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. ThoughtSTEM is most well-known for being the first company to release a Minecraft Modding software, LearnToMod, that allows kids as young as 5 years old to reprogram the popular video game, Minecraft.

With this new grant funding, ThoughtSTEM is able to offer more of their innovative, video game-inspired computer science curriculum to students around the world by moving the curriculum they've been using in classes with students in San Diego online. There will also be a push to development completely new computer science curriculum designed to meet the interests of a broader population of video game-playing students world-wide.

The mission of ThoughtSTEM is to find every student interested in understanding how computer programming works and teach them in a context they can understand - video games. ThoughtSTEM has taught over 7,000 students in San Diego and over 100,000 students online. ThoughtSTEM co-founder, Lindsey Handley, Ph.D., says: “Thanks to the NSF, we are now going to be able to reach more students in different countries with different interests. The same experience students have had in our classrooms, will soon be available online to both students... and adults. We're really interested in sharing our educational tools with more adults so they can help us reach more kids!”

ThoughtSTEM’s CEO, Stephen Foster, PhD, says: “This grant is allowing us to accelerate our development of computer science educational products for students who we are looking for new ways to interact with their favorite video games. Our students in San Diego have really enjoyed our approach, and we are excited to now be able to share it with other areas.”

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1632539. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.