Alice Regional Challenge Completed
By Eric Brown

We are very excited to share the impact and results of our Alice regional challenge. We are so proud of all of our entrants for their hard work and the exciting worlds they created. Our profound gratitude to all of the educators who attended our trainings and helped the students create such fantastical worlds.

One of the main objectives of the challenge was to help spread the word about Alice and motivate educators both in and out of school to explore the use of Alice in their work. To this end we are happy to report that we trained 80 educators throughout western Pennsylvania. We partnered with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Intermediate Unit 1, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, Assemble, and the Consortium for Public Education to host 7 training sessions throughout the fall and winter. We hope that Alice was a positive experience and for those that didn’t have any students submit work to the challenge this year we look forward to seeing their work next year.

Training at Allegheny Intermediary Unity Center for Creativity

We hosted a wonderful one-day bootcamp at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty. The event was well-attended and included some of our eventual finalists. A very special thanks to our instructors and volunteers who helped make the experience fun and educational for the more than 50 kids who participated. Throughout the day we hosted workshops on storytelling, game design, designing for social impact as well as numerous mini talks on how to use Alice. We look forwarding to sharing these materials so that others can host similar events. Special thank you to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for hosting us and Slice on Broadway for feeding us.

Alice Bootcamp at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

The impact and energy we got from interacting with the teachers and kids alone would have been enough for us to call the event a success but it didn’t end there. The number and quality of submissions was more than we could have hoped for. Many of the submissions pushed Alice to the limit and we are working hard to improve Alice so that we can support the work that these students were able to achieve. We had 46 submissions from both teams and individuals coming from 17 schools and learning spaces and 14 different zip codes. We thought all the worlds were incredible but without further ado here are the finalists for each category and the winners.

High School

Animation Category Finalists
Winner: A WOLF’S HARE-Y SITUATION by Katelyn Cole
CHOPPED, EP. 1 by Chase Bernotas, Jack Hric, and Shane O’Malley
THE CURUPIA by Andrew Freed

Games Category Winner
ONE SCARY PATH by Chad Lewis

Good neighbor Category Winner

Middle School

Animation Category Finalists
Winner: WORLD OF DRAGONS by Mariah Conway
GARRY’S ADVENTURE by Jackson Vanhoorelbeke, Awash Vajjala, Alex Vanhoorelbeke
MYSTERY OF THE MOTHMAN by Morgan Engel, Lorayne Bando, Victoria Cohen

Game Category Finalists
Winner: BEAR QUEST by Shannen Stolkovich
BEAR HUNTER by Ryan Milazzo
SUPER SPEEDER BROS by Johnathon Ciecierski

Good Neighbor Category Winner

Alice Team Choice Award

BEAR QUEST by Shannen Stolkovich

We welcome you to view and play their worlds. We created a featured project pages for the challenge that include video montages of all of the submissions and the ability to download and experience/explore their work first hand. For the High School entries you can find them here. For the Middle School entries you can view them here.

Alice Award Ceremony Submission Showcase

The award ceremony was a lot of fun with the students proudly showcasing their worlds in the Rangos Ballroom here on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. An extra special thanks to all the groups who supported the event: The Grable Foundation, Schell Games and Carnegie Mellon University as well as the companies that provided great prizes that the students greatly appreciated: Merge VR, Bird Brain Technologies, Kano, Joy Labs, Games Unlimited, Looking for Group Pittsburgh, Schell Games, City of Asylum, and of course Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and Entertainment Technology Center.

We thank everyone involved and look forward to doing it even bigger and better in the future. For those reading this that are interested in trying to host something similar in your area don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are currently developing a web page to host all of the materials we used as well as tips and tricks to make it easy for other people in the community to host an Alice Challenge.

If you participated and want to share your experience or photos please do so on Facebook or on twitter and let us know @aliceprojectcmu #programwithalice.