Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched the EdSim Challenge with a cash prize pool of $680,000 and additional sponsor prizes from IBM, Microsoft, Oculus, and Samsung. The Challenge calls upon the virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century. Successful simulations will pair the engagement of commercial games with rigorous educational content that strengthens academic, technical, and employability skills.
Simulated environments, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D simulations, and multiplayer video games, are emerging approaches to deliver educational content. Research indicates that simulation-based learning provides students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills acquisition, and learning outcomes.
“This initiative is an exciting example of how virtual reality and game technologies can be applied to give students everywhere the tools to prepare for future success,” said Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education. “We encourage developers from all disciplines to answer our call and help define the future of applied learning.”
Those interested in entering the Challenge should submit their simulation concepts here by January 17, 2017. Following close of submissions, a multidisciplinary panel of judges will evaluate the entries and select up five finalists to advance to the Virtual Accelerator phase. Each finalist will be awarded $50,000 and gain access to expert mentorship as they refine their concept and build a simulation prototype.
Want to learn more? Sign up for our informational webinar on November 16, 2016 from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST to hear an overview of the Challenge and ask questions. Also, see the selection criteria and rules, terms, and conditions.
Join us in creating the future of educational simulations in the classroom!