This week we welcomed three incredible teams from Mexico, Germany, and the U.S. to Austin, TX for the final round of our second annual Dell Education Challenge. Each team presented an amazing and uniquely disruptive education innovation to our judge panel, such as a World of Warcraft-esque game enriching low-income middle and high school students, a set of stimuli devices improving the attention barrier for autistic children, and epic plans for rural Bangladeshi schools to be sustained by solar power. Congratulations, teams – welcome to the DSIC/Verb Family!
Without further ado…
Grand Prize winner of $10,000 - Project Abby from Monterrey Institute of Technology! This incredible team helps the autism community by providing an affordable way for children with autism to learn and communicate effectively through the use of triggering stimuli such as light, sound, and vibration. They are building a set of devices intended to improve the attention barrier for children with autism. These devices (including a small vibration cube, a small illumination cube, and an illumination table) release light, sound, and vibration stimuli customized to the personality, interests, and skills of each child to capture their attention and create a comfortable space where they can learn and communicate.
Within the next year, Abby will provide its educational solutions to over a hundred autism-related associations in Mexico with the goal of reaching over 75,000 children nationwide in the next 2-3 years. By 2018, Abby hopes to expand to over 500 foundations across Latin America.
Second Place with $5,000
Second Place with $5,000- Immersed Games from the University of Florida. By harnessing the power of engaging and social online games to increase student access to quality education and enrichment, Immersed Games hopes to positively impact outcomes such as high school retention, civic engagement, college enrollment, and better career choices.
This team is building a MMPORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) with modules covering essential 21st century understanding such as economics, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and media literacy. A wide variety of educational enrichment is woven into an interactive virtual 3-D world with characters representing the students themselves cycling through various quests and challenges. These challenges are presented in context of the game story and involve an active and constructive learning process.
Third place with $2,500
Third place with $2,500- Light of Hope from the University of Flensburg in Germany. They plan to make rural community schools throughout Bangladesh self-sustainable by installing income-generating solar power systems available for convenient cell-phone charging and printing services at a cost.
Driven to leverage the solar power systems to increase students’ technology access and enrich their learning through computer training and online education programs., Light of Hope believes that their system has the potential to create jobs for village residents, and the implementation of efficient solar power can decrease overall labor hours and increase household income.
10 Promising Projects with $1,000 award each:
*Header picture: Dell Education Challenge Finalists with the Verb team.