Massachusetts Institute of Technology SOLVE in the USA invites applications from entrepreneurs worldwide for the Equitable Classrooms Challenge in 2021.
The pandemic has upended entire education systems, with an estimated 1.5 billion primary and secondary learners’ (ages 5-18) education disrupted. Some schools have shifted to distance learning, while others shut down completely. Many have had limited operations for months. These disruptions exacerbate pre-existing education inequalities along wealth, gender, ethnicity, linguistic, and geographical lines. Primary and secondary school students have shown incredible resilience in the face of these challenges, yet if not addressed, unfinished learning could represent a $10 trillion loss in lifetime earnings.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, learning environments—whether physical classrooms or remote and hybrid settings—were in need of significant reimagining to support young learners to develop the skills and competencies they need to thrive in the 21st century. Proven interventions, including early career exploration and self-directed, experiential, and social-emotional learning show promise, but will need to be adapted and scaled to benefit the most underserved and to ensure equality of opportunity for all.
The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that ensure all primary and secondary school learners have access to quality, safe, and equitable learning environments. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
- Increase the engagement of learners in remote, hybrid, and physical environments, including strategies and tools for parental support, peer interaction, and guided independent work.
- Enable access to quality learning experiences in low-connectivity settings—including imaginative play, collaborative projects, and hands-on experiments.
- Ensure the physical safety and mental health of learners—for example, through tools for crisis support, reporting violence, and mitigating cyberbullying.
- Support teachers to adapt their pedagogy, facilitate personalized instruction, and communicate with students and their families in remote and hybrid settings.
Worth of Award
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Virtual Solve Challenge Finals on September 19, 2021.
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education
American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. Up to $250,000 will be granted to or invested in solutions from the Equitable Classrooms Challenge, the Digital Inclusion Challenge, the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge, and/or Indigenous Communities Fellowship.
The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion: Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from across any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
Innovation for Women Prize: Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
The GM Prize
The GM Prize is open to solutions that help create smart, safe, and sustainable communities around the world. The Prize is funded by General Motors, which is working toward becoming the most inclusive company in the world, and dedicated to making STEM education more accessible and equitable. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to six recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US, Equitable Classrooms, and Resilient Ecosystems Challenges.
- In the near term, they need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response.
- MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak, for example by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers.
- At the same time, they cannot solely treat disease outbreaks reactively. Climate change and globalization leave us ever more vulnerable to future epidemics and pandemics, and it’s critical to be prepared.
- Solve is also seeking solutions that focus on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
- Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
- Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
- Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
- Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
- Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge
- Partnership Potential: The applicant clearly explains how the solution would benefit from the broad range of resources that the Solve community is positioned to provide.
How to Apply
You can submit your solution through the application link on their website
Deadline: deadline to apply is June 16, 2021.