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Planning for a ‘Bright Future’

Press Release Date 
Friday, 15 April, 2011
Children around the world are donning their thinking caps and joining the virtual world at KidsCom.com to play "The Bright FutureTMTrivia Game," a new and exciting, planet-saving game that offers fun facts on environmental sustainability issues. Developed by Applied Materials, Inc. and hosted by The Tech Museum through the KidsCom.com website, The Bright Future Trivia Game challenges students’ knowledge with well-researched, age-appropriate, green energy education - all against a technological backdrop in the virtual world. Visitors can select difficulty levels ranging from beginner to advanced to expert, and earn points for each correct response. Questions include those on renewable energy, biodiversity, green careers and climate change, among others. "The Tech Museum is delighted to work with Applied Materials and KidsCom.com on this very Silicon Valley-style project. Like many innovations from this region, our collaborative experiment leverages cutting-edge technology - virtual reality - to address real-world environmental challenges," said Alana Connor, the museum's Vice President for Content Development. "We are proud to present to the innovators of tomorrow the information they need today on a platform that they are excited about." The unveiling of the "green" trivia game - one of the first with a strong emphasis on new, sustainable sources of energy - comes at a critical time in the international debate on the controversial issue; students are increasingly raising their awareness of the importance of clean energy through classes, academic conferences, rallies and online learning, such as Bright Future. The game asks visitors questions such as: "Wind is caused when what object heats the Earth unevenly?" Or asks visitors to give examples of how we can use living matter to create renewable energy, the different types of food contamination, or improper uses of landfills. Applied Materials developed the game after engaging with teachers who were struggling to provide relevant, interactive experiences for their students on up-to-date environmental concepts. Working with teachers, Applied developed a "Bright Future Card Game" to foster awareness, enabling children to become good stewards of the Earth's resources. In an effort to make the card game more sustainable, Applied collaborated with The Tech Museum and KidsCom.com to bring the game concept to "virtual life," which resulted in The Bright Future Trivia Game. "This collaboration provided us with an opportunity to take Bright Future to a global audience, utilizing digital-world experiences to bring a message of environmental stewardship," said Mark Walker, managing director of Global Community Affairs at Applied Materials. "Our future depends on making environmentally sound decisions and The Bright Future Trivia Game helps engage kids in an interactive and intriguing way to provide a solid foundation on global sustainability issues." Polly Positron, an avatar whose true identity is that of the museum's director of learning, is another feature of the game. Polly, a pink-haired hipster scientist, visits the virtual museum gallery "Green By Design" each Thursday to answer students' science and technology questions. Nearly 27,000 visitors have come to The Tech Museum gallery since its launch in March 2010. KidsCom.com, which has registered users from nearly 200 countries, is populated with virtual worlds where simulation experiences, video and mini-game learning helps build awareness and interest in real world social issues, solutions, activities, products and services. "The collaboration between Applied Materials, KidsCom.com and The Tech Museum is a natural," said Jori Clarke, CEO & Founder of KidsCom.com. "Now kids can learn about renewable energy and sustainability through the wonderful hands-on exhibit at the museum and online anytime at KidsCom.com. Applied Materials has made possible this innovative integration of hands-on learning with digital education, empowering kids to learn more and help their families become informed to indeed have a Bright Future!" To experience the virtual museum and The Bright Future Trivia Game, click: http://www.thetech.org/brightfuture . View of The Tech Museum's virtual home at KidsCom.com Polly Positron invites kids to test their knowledge of earth-friendly practices. Contact: Roqua Montez Director of Public Relations +1 (408) 795-6225 rmontez@thetech.org About The Tech Museum The Tech Museum is a hands-on science and technology institution designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought, and inspire action. Ensconced in the heart of Silicon Valley, the museum captures the spirit of the region through innovative content and programs such The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and the internationally renowned The Tech Awards, which recognizes technology to benefit humanity. Daily, The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of pioneering ideas for a more promising future. About Applied Materials Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. At Applied Materials, we turn today's innovations into the industries of tomorrow. Learn more at www.appliedmaterials.com. About KidsCom.com KidsCom.com's Idea Seeker Universe is populated with virtual worlds where simulation experiences, video and mini?game learning helps build awareness and interest in real world social issues, solutions, activities, products and services. Known for its unique play with virtual world/real world connections where players in the online game experience are connected to real world experiences, it offers fun learning that is leading innovation in education and providing engaging opportunities designed to make life better for families. For more information, please visit: www.kidscom.com.