Activate! is a Web site and curriculum that enables kids to easily design and program video games. Activate! uses the lens of game design and the related tools of iterative design and programming to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills and develop stronger issue literacy on environmental and energy-related topics. The Activate! site enables youth to play, make and share games using the game development tool "Game Maker." While Activate! can be used online by youth individually, it can also form the core of classroom and/or after-school programs.
The Activate! Curriculum has been used far and wide, by schools and after-school programs in the United States and abroad. In 2010, a group of 12 faculty and students traveled to Beijing to conduct Activate! workshops for over 400 students of the Dandelion School, a school for the children of migrant workers. In summer 2011, A group of 7 students and faculty traveled to Abu Dhabi to train 11 public and private schoolteachers how to use the Activate! curriculum in thier classes. We then co-taught 90 high school students from the region.