NBC News & Robin Hood Launch 3rd Annual 'Innovation Challenge'
NBCUniversal News Group and Robin Hood announced the third-annual "Innovation Challenge" at NBC News' "Education Nation" Summit, taking place October 6-8th at The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman building.
The "Innovation Challenge" at "Education Nation" is a multi-day competition that will take place as part of the 2013 NBC News "Education Nation" Summit. The Challenge pits three teams of innovators from across the U.S. against each other in a series of trials, culminating in a live pitch in front of a panel of judges and the "Education Nation" attendees. The teams will compete to win the $75,000 "Innovation in Education Prize" donated by Robin Hood, to help make their innovation a reality.
"Robin Hood has a long tradition of bringing innovative solutions to our fight against poverty in New York City," said David Saltzman, Robin Hood Executive and Judge. "We're very excited to partner with 'Education Nation' on this Challenge and can't wait to see the creative solutions that come from it."
This year, CNBC media and entertainment reporter Julia Boorstin kicked off the "Innovation Challenge" on Wednesday, Sept. 25th during a live Google+ Hangout whereby she was joined by Donorschoose.org's CEO Charles Best to deliver the team's first challenge. During the Hangout, Best challenged the participating teams to raise money for worthy classroom projects designated by Donorschoose.org. A real-time tote board can be viewed at www.donorschoose.org/education-nation. The team that raises the most money by Friday, October 4th will win that challenge and points toward the final competition.
The competition continued as the teams made their way to New York City on Thursday, October 3rd. They have been tasked with various challenges - from live demonstrations of their products to distinguished educators and students, to an innovation themed scavenger hunt, they have also met and were mentored by experienced business leaders - including Robin Hood.
For the last two years, the "Innovation Challenge" at "Education Nation" showcased three teams of entrepreneurs who developed technological tools to help teachers in the classroom. The winners included:
2011: ClassDojo who has grown rapidly. One in seven schools in the U.S. has at least one teacher using ClassDojo, it's Being used in 80 countries and available in more than 10 languages. They've raised $1.6 million from Paul Graham, Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Mitch Kapor, General Catalyst, and others.
2012: NoRedInk has been used by over 12,000 schools, and students have solved over 30 million questions. They've raised over $2million from Google Ventures, Learn Capital, Social+Capital, Kapor Capital, Charles River Ventures, and NewSchools Venture Fund, and continue to be completely free for all teachers and students.
The bar continues to be high with this year's teams:
Code HS -- based in San Francisco, CA -- a great way for beginners to start programming. CodeHS provides a curriculum, short instructional videos, in-browser programming exercises, and help from real people along the way. CodeHS makes it easy for high schools to implement and fun for students to learn, teaching key problem solving skills that apply across all disciplines.
GigaBryte -- based in Milbrae, CA -- teaches computational thinking by combining visual programming with wearable electronics to let students show off their projects in The Real World and "remix" the programs of others. Students program light-up squares that can be put on shoes and clothing.
Teachley -- based in New York City-- creates math learning applications based on cognitive science research. They Capture data for teachers to determine what strategies students are actually using and what to teach next.
The panel of judges for this year's live pitch competition include:
Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools
David Saltzman, Executive Director, Robin Hood
Eric Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens Corporation
And for the first year, we'll have a student join the panel of judges:
Crystal Sanchez, Student at Uncommon Charter High School in Brooklyn
This year's Summit will stream live online at EducationNation.com and the NBC News Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/NBCNews). It will also be featured on YouTube's Education channel (http://www.youtube.com/education). For more information about "Education Nation," visit EducationNation.com, check us out on Facebook: facebook.com/EducationNation (http://www.facebook.com/EducationNation), or follow us on Twitter: @EducationNation (https://twitter.com/educationnation). Join the discussion with #EducationNation, and tell us "What It Takes" for student success at EducationNation.com/WhatItTakes (http://www.educationnation.com/WhatItTakes.).
Sponsors of the 2013 "Education Nation" Summit include ExxonMobil, Pearson, University of Phoenix, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, American Federation of Teachers, Bezos Family Foundation, the College Board, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Robin Hood. Knowledge Partners include America's Promise Alliance and NBC Learn.
About "Education Nation"
"Education Nation" seeks to create a thoughtful, well-informed dialogue with policymakers, thought-leaders, educators, parents and the public, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world. These discussions cover the challenges, potential solutions and innovations spanning the education landscape. By providing quality information to the public, NBCUniversal News Group hopes to provide information to Americans so they can make decisions about how best to improve our education system both in the near and long terms, and to shine a spotlight on one of the most urgent national issues of our time.
About Robin Hood
Since 1988 Robin Hood has focused on finding, funding, and creating programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York's poorest neighborhoods. Over its 25 year history, Robin Hood has distributed more than $1.25 billion to hundreds of the best New York City-based schools, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, job training programs, and other vital services that give New York's neediest citizens the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families. In addition, Robin Hood's board of directors pays all administrative, fundraising and evaluation costs, so 100% of public donations goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need. To learn more, please visit www.robinhood.org.