These are the 10 Finalists of the TPrize Educational Innovation Contest

It is an open innovation initiative of the Tec de Monterrey and the Universidad de los Andes that aims to provide and promote solutions to educational challenges.

The TPrize contest   selected the  10 finalist projects  this year. What do they have in common? They have the  potential to positively impact education in Latin America.

TPrize  is an open innovation  initiative of   Tec de Monterrey  and the  Universidad de los Andes  that aims to provide and drive  solutions to the educational challenges  that exist in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The initiative is also supported by  MIT Solve , an area of ​​the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for social projects, which provided its platform for the development of the contest.

This year’s challenge was How  can  disadvantaged communities  design and participate  in  lifelong learning  skills opportunities  to  create productive and prosperous lifestyles  in the 21st Century?

“We are committed to this program that uses collective intelligence, not only to design challenges, but to find and design solutions,” explains Sabrina Seltzer, leader of Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship EdTec del Tec.  “What we hope is to generate a j arín of startups or ventures  that allow us to have these possibilities to  solve the challenges of education “.

The 10 projects

Of a total of  304 projects  from  37 countries,  10  were selected to advance to the final,  to be held in  December 2020  during the   Tec de Monterrey Congress of Educational Innovation .

Each finalist will receive  $ 5,000. And the top  5 winners  will get another  $ 10,000  and have access to a  two-year follow-up program.

1) ECOLAB 4.0 (Venezuela) 

This project seeks to train young people in the manufacture of  educational tools with low-cost 3D printing,  derived from recycling plastic bottles.

This system also uses  augmented reality  and seeks for young people to learn about 3D modeling, programming, mechatronics, robotics, and even video game design and augmented reality, among others.

2) FORTE (Colombia) 

This platform seeks to  train professionally and at no cost to vulnerable groups of people such  as migrants, women in science, older adults, veterans and even unemployed due to the pandemic.

The financing of these trainings is obtained from the support of investors. Then trained people get a job and pay taxes.

Of these taxes derived from new workers, the government allocates a part for investors, so the cycle begins again.

3) MICROMENTOR (United States – Mexico) 

It is a community of mentors and entrepreneurs around the world, who offer  free advice for new entrepreneurs  on a platform that is easy to access and use similar to Facebook.

The website where the consultancies are offered can be visited from any device with internet access, where you can create an account and start the mentoring for free.

The site already has more than 69,000 entrepreneurs and 25,000 mentors from 179 countries.

4) SOLARSPELL (Colombia) 

It is a  portable digital library  that works with sunlight and  does not require internet access. It generates a Wifi point to which people from communities without network access can connect.

The development has the ability to store information that can be used for educational purposes and relevant to the communities where they are installed.

They are also resistant to extreme weather conditions such as humidity, heat and dust, among others.

5) LAB4U (Chile – Mexico) 

It is a platform with several  applications  that use the sensors of smartphones to turn them into a  pocket laboratory.

Students who use it can perform measurements and experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology.

This project seeks to meet the need for science laboratories in schools that do not have them, in addition to helping teachers save time with already designed experiments.

6) SKILLLAB (Netherlands) 

It is an  app that seeks to help marginalized workers  by identifying their skills and suggesting where they could take their professional careers.

The mobile application captures the employee’s skills and uses artificial intelligence to generate profiles with those skills, giving recommendations for jobs that may be of interest to them.

These profiles can be used by social workers and job counselors to more efficiently provide job choice mentoring.

7) BE A MASTER (Peru) 

It is a platform where teachers  volunteer to mentor other teachers from rural areas  who are interested in innovating in their classes.

The platform includes a methodology called INNO, which seeks to help the creation of projects in a simple and agile way and with high impact.

8) AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY ACADEMY (Chile) 

This initiative seeks to provide  tools and new skills to young students from rural sectors , especially women, to develop projects that seek to solve local agricultural problems.

This through an educational program carried out by experts, which combines theory and practice in the fields of biotechnology, molecular biology and genetic engineering, among others.

9) WITH HÉCTOR (Colombia) 

It is a  virtual  youth assistant that informs about  job and training opportunities  tailored to their specific skills and characteristics to help them enter the world of work.

It also offers  counseling for job placement,  mixing scientific information on the job market and the skills of young people.

Young people enter their data and the app recognizes the needs and characteristics to personalize their reports.

10) SCHOOL KIT KIT (Colombia) 

It is an autonomous learning application to help  boys and girls improve their basic reading, mathematics and digital skills.

This through a mobile application for electronic tablets mainly focused on children in situations of difficult access to education.

The application includes 200 children’s books, as well as resources to develop  reading, writing, arithmetic and even music and art skills.

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