If you have a great idea that could be a breakthrough in educating K-12 students, the $6 million  VITAL Prize Challenge might be just what you are looking for to take your idea to the next level. It is an award intended to develop and support learning technology for K-12 students. The U.S. National Science Foundation has partnered with the  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation to support early-stage concepts and ideas based on equitable, innovative uses of technology and research.

Early review ends on March 12 and the applications completely close on March 19, 2023.

According to their website participating teams will receive in-kind training and research & development (R&D) support through three competitive rounds of programming and up to $250,000 in prize winnings. Applications will open January 2023 and the full prize challenge will run through January 2024.

Applicants can come from any field and at any stage of their careers across academia, industry, or elsewhere (e.g., entrepreneurs, professors, students, researchers, teachers, computer scientists, product developers, etc.). Interested individuals are especially encouraged to apply if they:

  • Have an innovative technical idea that could support learning in the K-12 education system
  • Have a team that includes individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in advancing learning
  • Are committed to Inclusive Innovation
  • Would like support designing prototypes that serve learner variability
  • Have a desire to work as equal partners with educators and other constituents in education
  • Have the capacity to use evidence-based design methods to refine an idea into a technology prototype that can equitably support learning

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