“I think being able to have the White House on your resume is pretty amazing,” said Thomas, who learned she’d be going to the fair only a few days ago.

“The president is going to be there. He might be able to play my game as well.”

Her passion for contests turned into a love for video games at age 9. Next year it will lead her to Boise State University, where she is planning a double major in computer science and the new College of Innovation and Design’s major in gaming, interactive media and mobile technology. She wants to build games that are instructional and have learning elements.

Using different platforms, she’s invented about 60 games, many of them Nancy Drew-style mysteries. “I’ve done a lot of adventure games,” she said. Her head is packed with stories she wants to put into computer games.

“I made one treasure hunt,” she said. “The players had to go into cases ... to find the treasures.”

Then she got the idea for a game she called “Colorless.” Players learn that certain color blocks have special functions, she said, but when the colors fade players have “to use clues to help them get through the last level.”

Last year she entered her game in the National STEM Video Challenge, and was named one of the winners. “Her game was so interesting,” said Catherine Jhee, a spokesman for Joan Ganz Cooney Center in New York that helps run the challenge. The challenge recommended Thomas and some other entrants for the White House Science Fair.

And even as she prepared to be in the fair, her mind keeps tossing around ideas: “I always wanted to make a history game, something with time travel,” she said. Or a game to help kids solve algebraic equation. Or...

(this article is from the Idaho Statesman published on April 11th

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/education/article71289062.html#storylink=cpy