Stepping Up Our Game with Learn Fresh Partnership

Posted March 22, 2017 by Toni Cerbo

Ten80 Education recently partnered with Learn Fresh, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver, CO to bring game design to the participants of the 2017 STEM Innovators-in-Training (IiT) Experiences across the nation.

“Partnership with Ten80 Education creates a rare opportunity to collaborate with an organization that shares our big vision for STEM learning. We are excited to share our hands-on design process with a new generation of innovators across the country,” shared Nick Monzi, COO at Learn Fresh.

Learn Fresh and Ten80 have collaboratively developed a new workshop – GAME – focused on socially-driven game design. Learn Fresh brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the intersection of game design as a science, behavior design and design thinking. During each of the 2017 STEM IiT Experiences, students will be introduced to tried and true game design philosophy and given the opportunity to apply it to their own interests. After developing an idea for a socially-driven game design project in small groups, students will pitch for the opportunity to receive further mentorship from Learn Fresh and test the effectiveness of their idea at the national level!

“Learn Fresh focuses on game design and, more importantly, ‘experience design’. That is, creating learning tools that are all encompassing and mimic the real world as closely as possible,” said Nick Monzi. “We believe that learning and instruction connected to the real world has the best chance of being successful. And we believe that a gameplay experience can be a powerful tool to illuminate important social issues.”

In GAME, presented by Learn Fresh, students learn about the concept of design and how it applies to so many different careers and personal pursuits. During the workshop, students draw on game mechanics, narrative design, psychology and economics to put concepts to work to facilitate the connection of people and improvement in their lives. Student challenges encourage students to apply game design concepts to social entrepreneurship programs to help illuminate some of our world’s biggest challenges or address some of our biggest problems.

“Learn Fresh brings an expert approach to game design and we value their contributions to student learning during the STEM Innovators national tour,” said Terri Stripling, President and CEO at Ten80 Education. “Our partnership with Learn Fresh sparks student creativity to plan, design and invent a socially-driven game design and we look forward to working together beyond the tour toward the common purpose of increasing student engagement and achievement.”

The GAME workshop feeds into an optional Innovators-in-Training Challenge – Game Design for Good that invites students to continue the engagement in the weeks following the event. Students put design concepts to work by designing a table-top or computer game and could win the opportunity to actually put their game into production. Resources are provided so this can be 100% student-led – though mentoring always helps!

About Learn Fresh

Learn Fresh is dedicated to making learning fun for all students. The organization’s first program is NBA Math Hoops, a board game that engages students through the game of basketball using current statistics of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars. The program, which was developed in partnership with the NBA and Hasbro, is centered around a board game, mobile app, and supplemental curriculum that is tied to the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. Participants use the program regularly in the classroom and after-school programs, and take part in special team-sponsored events including Tip-off Clinics for educators and the NBA Math Hoops National Tournament Series for outstanding students. Check out the NBA Math Hoops website for more information.

With a national population of 20,000+ elementary and middle school students, Learn Fresh’s work extends beyond NBA Math Hoops. They have recently partnered with the Denver Broncos to develop an education tool that engages students through the game of football and its superstar players. They will soon be delving into other projects related to economic inequality, music, and financial literacy as they continue to strive to make learning relevant for all students.


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