Lenovo, Girls Who Code and USC Games Professor Tracy Fullerton Team Up on Women In Technology Series

Kids Who Sign Up at LenovoGameState.com For Free Code & Play Adventure by March 31 Have Chance to Win $2,500 Scholarship & Lenovo Prizes

Today, Lenovo announced it has teamed up with Girls Who Code – a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology – on the last installment in a three-part video series spotlighting women in technology. The project, produced by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls in support of Lenovo’s Code & Play Adventure at LenovoGameState.com  shines a light on the significant contributions women have made in technology, inspiring young people to do the same. LenovoGameState.com is a free, online destination for kids ages 13 and up to learn to code while playing a fun and engaging game.

The video premiered today on Smart Girls’ Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. It takes viewers along on a field trip inside the University of Southern California’s Game Innovation Lab for a mentoring session led by Game Designer and Professor Tracy Fullerton for teen members of Girls Who Code

“As a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, we are proud to join Lenovo and Smart Girls in recognizing women who are making significant contributions in technology,” said Claire Cook, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications for Girls Who Code. “We hope everyone who sees the video will be as inspired as our members were when they visited Tracy to learn more about her innovative work as a game designer.”

Tapping into the S.T.E.A.M. (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Mathematics) and “Maker" movements, LenovoGameState.com combines the entertainment of traditional computer games with the educational benefits of real code development, providing an even playing field for girls and boys to learn to code at their own pace. 

“What I love about LenovoGameState.com is that players become immersed in the fun of the game, but they're actually spending almost all of their time coding in some of the same programming languages used to create games,” said Fullerton, Director of the USC Games Program, and lead designer of the soon-to-be-released game Walden.

Kids who sign up at LenovoGameState.com become part of a Code & Play Adventure powered by Code Combat, where they learn how to code while playing a game. Each level completed counts toward an additional entry, so the more kids Code & Play, the more chances they have to win $5,000 in prizes. Kids who sign up at LenovoGameState.com by March 31, 2017 will be automatically entered into the Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship to attend a local coding camp or school (see LenovoGameState.com/rules for more details).

“Lenovo is committed to creating opportunities for young people to explore STEAM-related fields,” said Ajit Sivadasan, Lenovo Vice President/General Manager Global eCommerce. “The Women in Technology series spotlighting first computer scientist pioneer Betty Holberton, then Dr. Sheila Nirenberg of Cornell University and her breakthrough work creating sight through neural coding, has already received millions of views since their Smart Girls debut earlier this month, and we hope they will inspire future generations to make their dreams reality.”

LenovoGameState.com offers 142 levels of Code & Play Adventure that teaches kids to code while they play their way through three immersive worlds:

  • Starting in Kithgard Dungeon, the player’s chosen hero has been imprisoned by ogres and must sneak, puzzle and battle their way out by writing code to control their hero. In the first 10 levels (or about a half-an-hour of game time), players learn programming concepts like writing basic syntax, calling methods, writing strings, passing function arguments, repeating code with while-loops and storing data in variables.
  • With those basics covered, the game quickly moves on to exploring if-statements, x-y coordinates, Boolean operators, event handling and other coding concepts.
  • Along the way players find loot that allows their hero to access new programming methods and abilities as their quest continues through the Backwoods Forest and Sarven Desert, where they master arrays, break statements, counters, computer arithmetic and more.
  • Throughout the Code & Play worlds, multiplayer arenas give players a chance to develop their own artificial intelligence code for their heroes to compete against each other, customized to their unique hero builds and individual coding creativity.
  • Tips & tracks are built-in to the user experience for kids to use on-the-fly

About Girls Who Code:

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at http://www.girlswhocode.com/.

About USC Games:

Recognized as one of the top game design programs in North America by the Princeton Review, USC Games represents an exciting collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and the Veterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. Incorporating elements of design, artistry, production and engineering, USC Games offers an utterly unique educational experience for students, and serves as the launching pad for them to play significant roles in the game design field. With rigorous, hands-on instruction from master designers, producers, engineers and working professionals in the industry, students have an unprecedented level of opportunity to delve into every aspect of creating games for a global audience. Visit games.usc.edu to learn more.

About Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls:

Founded by Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker, Smart Girls is dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to so much that is being marketed to young people on the Internet. Our motto is: Change the World by Being Yourself.  What began as a web series for young girls and an excuse to host spontaneous dance parties has become a place for information, comedy and community. We emphasize intelligence and imagination over “fitting in.” We celebrate curiosity over gossip. We are a place where people can truly be their weird and wonderful selves. We are funny first, and informative second, hosting the party you want to attend. In 2015, Smart Girls originated the viral social media campaign #SmartGirlsAsk, an initiative dedicated to elevating the types of questions asked of celebrities on the red carpet and beyond. Smart Girls was acquired by Legendary Entertainment in October 2014. Visit amysmartgirls.com to join the community.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode YOGA brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including the Motorola brand), tablets and apps. Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@Lenovo) or visit us at www.lenovo.com. Watch the Code & Play Adventure trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBSZe5IuDvI.