White House Summit on Computer Science for All

Livestream of Computer Science for All Summit

Zulama is making an announcement in support of the White House’s Computer Science for All Initiative. The Summit is streaming live today from 1PM EST to 3PM EST.

According to The White House, nine out of ten parents want Computer Science courses at their child’s school, but only about a quarter of K-12 schools teach Computer Science with programming. Zulama has made a commitment towards President Obama’s initiative to provide all American students with vital Computer Science skills.

Zulama’s Announcement:

Computer Science for All

Mass Technology Leadership Council Announces Finalists for the 19th Annual Technology Leadership Awards

MassTLC Annual Celebration of Innovation Casts Spotlight on Executives, Companies and Innovative Technologies Across 16 Categories

CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Marketwired – Jul 20, 2016) – Leaders of the Massachusetts innovation community gathered last night at the Microsoft NERD Center for a reception at which the group announced finalists for the 2016 MassTLC Technology Leadership Awards. The awards shines a spotlight on the best of the region’s internationally respected tech industry in 16 categories.

“The Massachusetts tech community continues to be at the forefront of solving the world’s most vexing problems and creating businesses and technologies that are helping industries succeed and people thrive each day. The list of finalists for the 19th annual MassTLC Leadership Awards is proof that our region continues to produce industry leaders in important sectors such as healthcare, robotics, security and the Internet of Things. Each year I grow more impressed at the breadth and depth of talent, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit Massachusetts continues to generate,” said MassTLC President Tom Hopcroft.

Finalists were selected from hundreds of nominations, as judged by panels of industry leaders in each of the 16 categories who participated in the selection process. The pool of finalists will be further narrowed during the coming weeks. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 14, at the MassTLC Leadership Awards Gala at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. More details, advance registration and sponsorship information are available at http://masstlcawards.org/.

Finalists in each of the 16 categories include:

CEO of the Year
Aron Ain, Kronos
Tom Ebling, Demandware
Udi Mokady, CyberArk
Niraj Shah, Wayfair
Gil Zimmerman, CloudLock

CTO of the Year
Greg Hinkle, Evergage
Joe Kinsella, CloudHealth Technologies
Michael Schmidt, Nutonian
Andy Smith, Curriculum Associates
Ron Zalkind, CloudLock

Emerging Executive of the Year
Scott Bailey, MassChallenge
Josh Feinblum, Rapid7
Aman Narang, Toast
Mike Festa, Wayfair
Julie Yoo, Kyruus

Emerging Company of the Year
American Well
Black Duck Software

Company of the Year
Acacia Communications

Best Use of Technology – Big Data
Arcadia Data
Progress Software

Best Use of Technology – Cloud
Glance Networks
Progress Software

Best Use of Technology – Internet of Things (IoT)
Beechwoods Software
Powerhouse Dynamics

Innovative Technology of the Year – Ed Tech
Curriculum Associates
Teachers Connect

Innovative Technology of the Year – Healthcare
Health Beacons

Innovative Technology of the Year – Mobile
Street Info Tech

Innovative Technology of the Year – Financial
Level Up

Innovative Technology of the Year – Robotics
Ascend Robotics
Locus Robotics
Ras Labs

Innovative Technology of the Year – Sales & Marketing
High Start Group
Zoom Info

Innovative Technology of the Year – Security
Axis Communications
Pwnie Express

Innovative Technology of the Year – Consumer
C Space

Click here to view the full list of finalists online, or go to http://masstlcawards.org.

Awards Program Platinum Sponsors: Century Link, CHEN PR, Cisco, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Microsoft, PwC and Unosquare.

Gold Sponsors: CoreSite, K Square Law and Raytheon.

About The Mass Technology Leadership Council, Inc.
With 500+ member companies, the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is the region’s leading technology association and the premier network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. MassTLC’s purpose is to accelerate innovation by connecting people from across the technology landscape, providing access to industry-leading content and ideas and offering a platform for visibility for member companies and their interests. More at www.masstlc.org


  • For more information, contact:
    Shannon Todesca, CHEN PR for MassTLC
    PHONE 781-672-3147
    Email Contact

Announcing New Short Courses!

Three new Short Courses are now ready and available for Zulama schools!

BB Sub RobotArcade Game Design

Students will use Scratch and a Hummingbird robotics kit to build their own arcade game! Learning the fundamentals of game design and coding, they will use LEDs, motors, and sensors to create a game that lights up and moves.

IMG_2968Science Game Design

Science is everywhere, from tiny bacteria to space travel! Your middle schoolers will team up with friends to build and play a game about a popular science topic of their choice!

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 12.18.20 PMGamestar Mechanic Game Design

Your students will learn to apply five elements of game design to build a game using Gamestar Mechanic. They will create a design document, prototype, and play their game with friends!

We Want Your Feedback!

For a limited time, we’re opening up the opportunity to be the first to use these new 15-18 hour courses in your classroom, whether your school has purchased the Short Courses or not!

In return, we’d like to hear your feedback about your experience with the new courses.

What we ask from you:

  • Complete a 5 minute click and submit survey at the conclusion of the course to let us know how your class enjoyed the course activities and project
  • Take a short followup call from Zulama to share your course experience with us
  • Your classroom meets the requirements (below) for the course you’d like to teach
  • You are willing to share samples images of your student’s work

Only with feedback from our valued teachers and administrators, can we continue to bring innovative and engaging new content for your students to enjoy! We couldn’t do what we do without you!

This offer is only available through the end of Summer 2016, so if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity, talk to your administrators, and send us an email at sarah.avery@zulama.com for more information!

Classroom requirements for each course are listed below:

Arcade Game Design Requirements

  • Access to access Scratch 2 (free)
  • Hummingbird Duo Base Kits, can be purchased here.

Science Game Design Requirements

  • Must teach in a grade 6 through grade 9 classroom, preferably in a science classroom

Gamestar Mechanic Game Design Requirements



It’s Jam Time!


by Bev Vaillancourt, Editorial Director

On the heels of a very successful climate game jam held last September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is planning another game jam for April 15 – April 24, 2016. The theme is “Water”! While game jams usually are “jammed” into a 48-hour time period with no breaks, the Spring game jam has a much different structure.

In order to accommodate school schedules, the NOAA’s Spring game jam will span 10 days, with a total of 48 hours dedicated to designing a game within the 10 days. This allows teachers and community groups a lot of flexibility. An entire school day can be dedicated to the game jam, with time spent on following days to improve the game. Teachers also could opt to restrict the game jam one concentrated time period with follow up iteration before the prototype is ready for review.

Four age categories have been established for the Spring Game Jam:

  • K-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • 13-16

A variety of game development tools will be allowed, from basic paper prototypes to Scratch to GameSalad to Unity. Individuals will be competing for top game design honors within their age group and within their game design tool category.

Specific science categories related to water have been identified, as well. Game Designers will be able to choose from several important water related topics including including Changing Precipitation Patterns to Marine Biodiversity to Polar Issues, and much more. The Spring game jam offers a very unique opportunity for students to work as design teams, learn a lot of science facts, consider very important and timely environmental issues, and have a lot of fun building a game that can be used to teach others about water issues.

Interested in learning more? If you are wondering how to organize and conduct a game jam, stay tuned. Zulama will be providing you with “how to” information in mid-March. More to come soon on the NOAA website, as well! Take a break with your students and enjoy creating a game for NOAA. Who knows? You may join the September game design team from Elizabeth Forward High School and have your game showcased on the NOAA website!

Hot Off the Presses!

A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science and reported in Education Week (Volume 35, No. 21) highlights that showcasing exceptional work has a negative impact on struggling students. Researchers Todd Rogers of Harvard University and Avi Feller of the University of California found that when all students attempt similar assignments, struggling students quickly size up the possibility of generating work of equal quality to high functioning students and lose interest in the assignment. The results of this important study underscores the value of students working in design teams where each member of the team brings his or her strengths to the project. It’s not that students should be shielded from comparison of student accomplishments. Rather it is students learning that measuring up really means setting personal goals for achievement and helping others build their skills in a collaborative way. It’s the power of game design in every Zulama classroom.

Zulama Students Shine at Smithsonian Climate Game Showcase

Elizabeth Forward High School (PA) students Alex Winter, Josh Turner, Scott McAlpine showcase their game, Flood Prevention, at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Forward High School (PA) students Alex Winter, Josh Turner, Scott McAlpine showcase their game, Flood Prevention, at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

By Beverly Vaillancourt

As a high school game design student, what would it be like to have a game you designed showcased at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.? Pretty awesome!

Azure Skies, created by Harmony High School (FL) students, on display at the Smithsonian.

Azure Skies, created by Harmony High School (FL) students, on display at the Smithsonian.

That’s exactly what happened for Zulama students from Elizabeth Forward High School, PA, and Harmony High School, FL, on January 18, 2016. Games designed by teams from both schools were chosen from several games created as part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsored climate game jam. Their games were showcased alongside games created by professional game designers and university students at the Smithsonian for museum visitors to play. Three students, Alex Winter, Josh Turner, Scott McAlpine, from Elizabeth Forward, along with teachers Mary Wilson and Alexis Dombrowsky, made the trip to Washington, D.C. to set up their game and watch gamers of all ages playtest it. Museum staff estimated some 600 people visited the two-level game showcase during the afternoon hours. Talk about the ultimate playtest experience!

Unable to make the trip, Harmony High School students sent their game to the Smithsonian for the showcase. Several young gamers admired the art and the complexity of the game. While Azure Skies, the board game created by Harmony High students, certainly is an excellent example of a board game prototype, several young players commented on what a good digital game it could be.

Playtesting Flood Prevention.

Playtesting Flood Prevention.

For Zulama students to be part of the Smithsonian event speaks to their high level game design skills and ability to work effectively as a design team. It also speaks to the investment of their talented teachers who inspire and facilitate student interest in deepening game design knowledge. Zulama congratulates both teams on their success and hopes they use the feedback received from the Washington D.C. showcase to continue to develop their games. NOAA has offered to host both Elizabeth Forward’s and Harmony’s games on the NOAA website featuring science games. That’s quite the pat on the back for these young game designers!

Building on the success of last September’s climate game jam, an early Spring game jam is being planned by NOAA for high school students across the county. Information about the game jam will be shared in a coming newsletter. We hope several Zulama students decide to participate in the Spring game jam. It’s quite the experience for students to come together as a design team and develop a game prototype in the short span of a day. The pride of accomplishment was quite evident with three talented game design students from Elizabeth Forward who saw their game from the perspective of players new to their game through the showcase experience. The feedback that was shared was an incredibly valuable and a deeply important learning experience for them.

The glass globe given to the winning high school teams from Elizabeth Forward and Harmony by NOAA and the Smithsonian are as valued as any school sports trophy. Zulama applauds their efforts and the efforts of all students who took part in last September’s game jam.