President Barack Obama rolled out his Educate to Innovate initiative last week and in the process announced a number of game-design grants to help promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competencies among the country's youth. Private companies have also taken up the White House's education initiative, with Activision Blizzard announcing today that it has joined the Change the Equation philanthropic organization.
A 100-member coalition, Change the Equation was founded by former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, and Sally Ride Science CEO Sally Ride. The executive quintet was aided by financial backing from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Calling itself a "non-partisan CEO-led" group, Change the Equation's stated goal is to "solve America's innovation problem." Aiming to accomplish this objective through private and philanthropic means, the organization promotes improving STEM teaching at all grade levels, with an emphasis on cultivating a larger, more racially, ethnically, and gender-diverse pool of teachers.
The coalition also hopes to increase interest in STEM programs among the youth, primarily among women and minorities. Further, Change the Equation hopes to cement its contributions by creating a prolonged commitment to STEM fields at the corporate and governmental levels.
Activision Blizzard isn't the only gaming company to be a member of Change the Equation. Xbox 360 maker Microsoft is also a member of the organization, as is Gears of War creator Epic Games. A full list of member companies is available on the Change the Equation Web site.