STEM Mio aims to impact students, family and the community by engaging students in inquiry-based STEM learning, educating entire families on STEM careers and Latino role models, and preparing students for college pathways to STEM careers.

Latinos make up the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the US but remain underrepresented in STEM professions. While clearly capable, Latino students often lack familiarity with potential STEM careers, Latino STEM role models, and the college resources available to them.

To address this, the Center for Games & Impact (CGI) invites you and your community to join STEM Mio, a digital empowerment platform and community designed to support Latino students and their families in realizing STEM college and career pathways.

(click image to view Platform Screenshot)

STEM Mio is an innovative and targeted approach to STEM learning and college preparation, funded by the National Science Foundation, and created by Learning Scientists at CGI (Arizona State University), in an exciting collaboration with Vme Media (VME), E-Line Media, and the Hispanic Association of College & Universities (HACU).

STEM Mio Platform

Powered by CGI’s ThriveCast platform, the STEM Mio program supports middle and high school Latino youth as they explore their personal passions, match those to STEM futures, connect with Latino STEM mentors, and gain the experiences to become strong college applicants. The STEM Mio journey is inspired through peer stories, supported through carefully designed learning challenges and peer championing, and culminates in real-world achievements.

The STEM Mio Journeys blend digital experiences (3D immersive games, career and personality inventories, online mentors, etc) with real-world experiences (doing hands on STEM activities, interviewing professionals, completing college and scholarship applications, etc). Notably, the game platform goes beyond STEM to help shape students through self-re ection, academic goal-setting, becoming a student mentor, and supporting strategic planning for college and careers.


To support learning, students play STEM Mio in cohorts, either with their teacher/facilitator, or with other students online. Students can review each other’s accomplishments, and Teachers and STEM professionals give feedback as mentors. Learning is managed through a Teacher Dashboard, which shows players’ progress and accomplishments. The students, mentors, and teachers support each other as they explore STEM learning, grow their potential, and chart a course for college and career success.


As a companion to the game-based journey and learning activities, VME has created a television series, Generación STEM, to engage entire families with STEM, college, and the bene ts of these careers. These episodes are available in English within STEM Mio, and in Spanish for families to watch together on TV and online.

This work is happening in partnership with our stakeholders and partners on this grant:

vmetvVME Media, (Spanish public television), is creating a TV series ‘Generaćion Digital’ to focus on STEM Latino professionals, a ‘day-in-the-life’, which focuses on how to enter these fields from multiple perspectives (professionals, students, educators and families). This will be aired weekly to a family audience with links to STEM Mio community events, the ASU journey platform, and college admissions and tours information.

HACUHACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) will be providing their college preparation resources, workshops, and nationwide network of schools to help support Latino students prepare to succeed in college applications and studies. As an exciting goal, HACU will provide campus tours to 1300 Hispanic students who ‘level up’ their future in the STEM Mio game platform and earn this exciting opportunity.

E-Line-MediaE-Line Media, game design studio, creates innovative STEM-related video games and hosts a nationwide annual STEM Video Game Design Challenge. Their STEM-related game, Gamestar Mechanic, will be offered in a Spanish-friendly version with connections to game design careers. This focused game, and their Design Challenge will be included in the TV series, featuring Hispanic teens doing STEM and highlighting the exciting things they design.

For information, collaborations, or to bring STEM Mio to your community, please contact Dr. Anna Arici at This work was supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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Public Health

Public HealthEveryday cancer kills 1,500 U.S. citizens, totaling 547,500 Americans in a single year and rising. Over 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular disease and strokes, which are also a leading cause of serious long-term disability. The American Heart Association estimated that stroke cost the country about $53.9 billion in 2010. Other health problems include less immediately life threatening, but nonetheless quite costly challenges such as obesity, stress and anxiety, smoking, binge drinking, ADHD, and physical impairment. Change advocates are arguing for a shift from healthcare models that are practitioner-centric towards a more patient-centric system that focuses on prevention and behavior improvements.

Games are being utilized to teach patients about the nature of their health conditions, manage their wellness plans, and guide them to healthier, more connected and enjoyable lives.

The White House has already used games for challenges around youth obesity and multiple agencies are exploring the intersection of games and brain plasticity to drive a variety of health outcomes.  There are also a host of games being designed by commercial game companies to improve health.  Some of these gamify healthy eating habits, others focus on dispositional change, and still others offer simulations of complex health and safety strategies to help mitigate, for example, the spread of viruses. Games are also being used to help drive breakthroughs in cures for diseases.  For example, one group of gamers playing a crowd-sourced protein-folding game (Foldit) helped unlock the structure of a protein that helps cause AIDS, a protein that the scientific community had been unable to unlock for over a decade.  Games and technology are changing the doctor-patient relationship in every aspect from records management to symptom assessment to the delivery of preventive and corrective procedures.

How can we most effectively use games to improve public health? Can crowd-source games that call on the collective intelligence of all citizens provide insights into some of the nation’s largest health problems—whether unlocking the structure of proteins or producing policy recommendations regarding how to respond to an epidemic? Can we use games to increase brain functioning or to change unhealthy patterns?

*Public Health Icon: “Genetics” symbol by  symbol by Jack Biesek, Gladys Brenner,  Margaret Faye, Healther Merrifield, Kate Keating, Wendy Olmstead, Todd Pierce, Jamie Cowgill, Jim Bolek, from The Noun Project collection.