Editor’s note: This week Microsoft joined partners at three events dedicated to answering one question: How can enhanced public/private partnerships improve the quality of the education that students receive in the subjects that are crucial for creating the high paying jobs of the future and for bridging the opportunity divide in communities across the country? 

Today Dr. Elizabeth Grossman, of Microsoft’s Technology Policy Group, joined the Global Women’s Innovation Network for a panel on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Education on Capitol Hill. Dr. Grossman described how expanding the availability of computer science education in high school is critical to preparing students for opportunities in the 21st century economy.

On Tuesday, Microsoft’s Andrea Taylor, Director of North American Community Affairs, spoke at the Atlantic’s Technology in Education Forum for a discussion exploring how technology can prepare students for next wave jobs. 

Jumpstarting the week, Microsoft’s Vice President for Government Affairs Fred Humphries and Education Design Director Alex Games helped launch the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge Youth Winners Celebration.  The multi-year competition aims to motivate interest in STEM among youth.  Reflecting on the event, Games published a piece on this unique video game challenge and why it is so important to incorporate playful learning into STEM education. 

2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge

Games writes:

“As any experienced teacher can tell you, one of the best ways to captivate children while teaching them is to make lessons interactive and fun, allowing them to forget they are actually learning.  I saw just how true this was as a judge of student designed video games for the National STEM Video Game Challenge.  The competition promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by harnessing kids’ natural passion for video games.  Earlier this week, I visited Washington to meet the winners – some of our nation’s most promising future game developers. 

Read the full post here on the Get Game Smart blog.