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 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




We all want to give our students the best chance at an enjoyable fulfilling career, and at Zulama, that’s what we’re doing!  Through our Entertainment Technology Academy, we are infusing our students with the 21st century skills they need to compete in today’s workforce.  That’s why our program is built on the qualities of STEAM, rather than STEM. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics play a critical role in all our courses. They work together to teach our students collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills.  Take a look at the infographic below developed by The University of Florida comparing STEM and STEAM.



Smithsonian Teacher Resources

Are you an educator looking for rigorous, yet engaging FREE science resources?! The place to start is NOT a Google search! Start right here on the Smithsonian Institution’s Educator web page. You can search by keyword or state standards to find exactly what you need.

I just returned from the Youth Access Grant Panel at the Smithsonian in DC where I spent two days analyzing and making recommendations for grants to be awarded to Smithsonian employees/educators for projects that aim to give underserved and disadvantaged youth the STEAM education that their schools are failing to deliver.

From hands-on watershed studies to telling the story of their own family’s migration, some of the projects are truly inspiring. I can’t wait to follow the positive impact they will surely have.

The Youth Access Grants were made possible by a $30 million endowment from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Kudos to the foundation for supporting education!

Yet I was left wondering why our schools [that are already being funded by taxpayer’s dollars] aren’t doing a better job providing the education young people need?!

STEM Education Advisory Board session at the Winchester Thurston School

Zulama’s President and CTO, Nikki Navta, had the honor of attending a STEM Education Advisory Board session at the Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh recently. Winchester Thurston (WT) is reaching out to professionals and academics in the community for ideas regarding how to implement more STEM content in their curriculum.

The meeting started with a general brainstorming session, and then drilled down to more specific problem-solving and program details. The ideas flew around the room, amid a swirl of energy and concentration. Some takeaways:

  • the need to incorporate the Arts into any STEM program is essential. STEAM, not just STEM
  • making science relevant to students is a key to success
  • enable students to experience real-life STEAM jobs through internships, mentoring, and more
  • give students real-world problems to solve

What are your experiences incorporating STEAM content into your curriculum? Any best practices to share?