Art and special needs: a winning combination for the Golden Lamp Award

The Association of American Publishers PreK-12 Group has awarded Axel's Chain Reaction with a Golden Lamp award for Beyond the Classroom resources. The app also won the Revere Award in the "Relate" category, during the Content in Context conference.
 
WASHINGTON - June 11, 2015 - PRLog -- Axel’s Chain Reaction, an independently-produced book and game app for children ages 6 to 9,  won a Golden Lamp Award  at the Gala that closed the Association of American Publishers’ Content in Context conference. The app created by Allison Pomenta and developed by Higuera Studios, also won a REVERE Award in the “Relate” category of the Beyond the Classroom Competition.

The educational publishing industry's top honor, the Golden Lamp Award, recognizes the best educational resources that exhibit outstanding quality and overall achievement in the use of content and design, audience engagement and appropriateness, usability, originality, and effectiveness in fulfilling the product’s educational mission. Produced by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) PreK-12 Learning Group, and judged by teachers and educational publishing peers in small and large group discussions, the awards provide an objective, authoritative evaluation.Due to its rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process, winning a Golden Lamp is a sign of particular excellence and distinction within the field.

With more than four decades of history, the Golden Lamp competition is now the culmination of the REVERE Awards. “By changing the Golden Lamp Awards from an open submissions-based competition to a recognition program only for the winners within the other REVERE Awards competitions, we have strengthened our core mission of identifying and honoring the best of the best of the year’s educational products,” said REVERE Awards judge and Awards committee chairperson, Eric Hamilton, Assistant Director, NCSLET Administration at the American Museum of Natural History.

STANDING OUT

The app’s core is a humorous story about a neurodivergent maker kid striving to make a kinetic sculpture in order to show teachers and peers what he’s capable of. Axel’s cheerfulness in the face of disaster, his willingness to help his classmates, and his creative talent, ultimately changes everyone’s perception of him.

It’s rare to find a children’s fiction book app that places a kid with special needs at the center of a story about celebrating everyone’s talents, and even harder to find one that addresses the creative process linked to both Art and Science. One of the judges commented: “I especially enjoyed how the app takes something that society often perceives negatively, and presented it in a very positive light: children who are fidgety and distracted. As a parent of an ADD child, it would be great for him to interact with content in which he sees himself and sees how his gifts are valuable. There were a lot of subconscious values addressed within the app, which was a fantastic and delightful bonus. Game flow was smooth and intuitive. This is overall, an incredible product.”

Axel’s Chain Reaction integrates interactions seamlessly into the storyline, and has video, hands-on activities for kids to make their own kinetic sculptures, open-ended creation games, and non-fiction educational content. Reasons that Golden Lamp judges gave for choosing Axel’s Chain Reaction included visual design that is very appealing, and interactivity that “is fun, unique and very engaging. There is something for everyone, including multiple types of learners. The projects and game are great additions as extras, and it mixes a lot of interesting themes and information together and allows readers to not only think about their feelings but also learn more about art…”

The app won a Parent’s Choice Gold Award in 2014, which recognizes quality children’s media. The story of a quirky tinkerer was also picked as finalist for the Digital Book Awards 2014 in the children’s app category.  It has also garnered recommendations by National Science Teachers Association, School Library Journal, and kids’ app review sites.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING REVERED

The REVERE (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources) Awards recognize creative resources that engage 21st century teachers and learners. Award winners were evaluated through in-person events and remote judging by 100 evaluators in the education and publishing industries.

The Award in the Beyond the Classroom competition recognizes a wide range of resources used outside of formal education settings for personal study and enjoyment and may include books, games, and more; categories are learn, play, relate and innovate. Products in its “Relate” category support learners in building healthy relationships with themselves, physically and emotionally, and socially with others. It also includes products that help learners process and engage with experiences, environments, and more in a positive manner.

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Media Contact

Allison Pomenta
Email: allison@appchainreaction.com

If you’d like to find more information and images about Axel’s Chain Reaction, and its producers, please visit: http://www.axelschainreaction.com

About Allison Pomenta

Allison Pomenta is an educational content creator, producer, and ed tech consultant. As Curator of Educational Exhibitions at a fine arts museum, Ms. Pomenta initiated her research into interactivity and engaging audiences while she created hands-on exhibitions based on Multiple Intelligence and Constructivist theories in the late 1990’s. A Communications graduate, Ms. Pomenta holds an MA in Publishing, a PG Dip. in Art Education and Museums, and has carried out additional museum studies with the University of Leicester. Ms. Pomenta went on to freelance for the US bilingual textbook industry for several years (writing, editing, and translating). Ms. Pomenta was also an instructional and assessment activity designer for a Multiple Intelligence talent-discovery project in India.  She later embarked on the design and production of her own educational resources.

Ms. Pomenta believes in offering open-ended activities that allow kids to experiment, and strives to foster meaningful learning in all children’s media she creates.

About Cubic Jigsaw, a division of Higuera Studios

Cubic Jigsaw, is an edutainment studio dedicated exclusively to kid’s apps, within the Higuera Studios group. We specialize in Edutainment content, through which they develop their real passion: creating high quality entertainment content for kids that offers carefully thought-out experiences through which kids can build on prior knowledge, learn new concepts, find challenges for their skills, and develop their minds as they play.

About AAP

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is the voice of the US book and journal publishing industry.  AAP represents the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide.  Our four hundred member companies represent major commercial, educational and professional companies as well as independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies.

Media Contact
Allison Pomenta
allison@appchainreaction.com
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