Department of Education Announces Five Finalists in EdSim Challenge

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Department of Education Announces Five Finalists in EdSim Challenge

Challenge designed to increase access to career and technical education programs through augmented and virtual reality immersive computer-based simulations
May 9, 2017

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced the five finalists in the EdSim Challenge, a competition to design the next-generation of computer simulations that strengthen career and technical education.

The Challenge called 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. Five finalists were selected out of 249 submissions from across the country.

"We are extremely excited about the quality of solutions submitted to the Challenge," said Kim R. Ford, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. "The five finalists cover a wide range of topics and we are confident they will help students strengthen career and technical education, propelling America's workforce forward in the 21st century."

The five finalists are:
Case Western Reserve University: Holographic Anatomy to Transform Healthcare Learning is a digital alternative to cadaver-based dissection, teaching medical anatomy using Microsoft HoloLens.
Embodied Labs, Inc.: The Alfred Lab is a series of VR patient experience labs, training students to become better caregivers of aging populations.
Octothorpe LLC: The Irregular: Sherlock Holmes is a VR experience that uses critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork to explore subjects such as chemistry and psychology.
Osso VR Inc.: Osso VR is an orthopedic surgical training simulation platform that specializes in realistic, hands-on interaction.
Smart Sparrow: LifeCraft explores the story of life on Earth through various VR journeys ranging from archeology and biology to astronomy.

The finalists were recommended by a panel of judges with expertise in education, gaming, workforce development, emerging technology and venture capital.

Each finalist will receive $50,000 and will enter the EdSim Virtual Accelerator to refine their submission and develop a prototype. The finalists will also receive in-kind prizes that include development kits donated to the Department from Oculus and Samsung. HTC VIVE™ announced separately that they will offer each finalist a virtual reality headset.

The Virtual Accelerator phase will culminate in Demo Day, where each of the finalists will present their playable prototypes to the panel of judges. The judges will recommend the grand prize winner(s) to receive the remaining $430,000 of the $680,000 cash prize pool and additional in-kind prizes from IBM and Microsoft.

The EdSim Challenge is part of a series of prize competitions that aim to spur development of new technology, products and resources that will prepare students for high-skill, high-wage and high-demand careers. The series is funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. Learn more at edsimchallenge.com and follow the Challenge at www.twitter.com/edprizes.