How disadvantaged communities can design and participate in relevant learning opportunities in the 21st century was a challenge for these startups
By ASAEL VILLANUEVA | DRAFT CONNECTION – 06/01/2020
The TPrize contest selected ten finalist projects this year, which 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 promote solutions to the educational challenges that exist in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The initiative is also supported by MIT Solve, MIT’s area for social projects, which provided its platform for the development of the contest.
How can disadvantaged communities design and participate in lifelong learning skills opportunities to create productive and prosperous lifestyles in the 21st century? was this year’s challenge.
We are committed to this program that uses collective intelligence, not only to design challenges but to find and design solutions.
What we hope is to create a garden of startups or ventures that allow us to have these possibilities to solve the challenges of education,” explains Sabrina Seltzer, leader of Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship EdTec, from Tec.
THE TEN PROJECTS
Of the 304 projects from 37 countries, ten were chosen to advance to the final in December 2020, during the Tec de Monterrey International Congress of Educational Innovation.
Each finalist will receive $ 5,000. In the final, the top 5 winners will win another $ 10,000 and a two-year follow-up program.
Get to know the 10 projects:
1) ECOLAB 4.0 (VENEZUELA) – LOW-COST 3D PRINTING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
This project seeks to teach young people about making educational tools with low-cost 3D printing, derived from recycled 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) – TRAINING FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE
This platform seeks to train vulnerable groups such as migrants, women in science, older adults, veterans and even unemployed people due to the pandemic at no cost.
The financing of these training is obtained from the support of investors; then trained people get a job and pay taxes.
From these taxes derived from the new workers, the government allocates a part for investors in Forte, so the cycle begins again.
3) MICROMENTOR (UNITED STATES – MEXICO) – FREE ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS
It is a community of mentors and entrepreneurs from 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) – FREE DIGITAL LIBRARY WITHOUT INTERNET
It is a portable digital library that works with sunlight and does not require Internet access, which generates a Wi-Fi point to which people from communities without network access can connect.
This can 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) – YOUR SMARTPHONE, A PORTABLE LABORATORY
It is a platform where there are several applications that use the sensors of smartphones to turn them into a pocket laboratory.
Students who use it can perform measurements and experiments on physics, chemistry, and biology, the last 2 applications being in development.
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) – APP TO HELP OUTLOOKED WORKERS
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 suggestions for jobs that may be of interest to you.
These profiles can be used by social workers and job counselors to more efficiently provide job choice mentoring.
7) BE A TEACHER (PERU) – SUPPORT TO RURAL TEACHERS
It is a platform in which teachers volunteer to mentor teachers from rural areas who are interested in innovating in their classes.
The platform includes a methodology called INNO that seeks to help the creation of projects in a simple and agile way and with high impact.
8) AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY ACADEMY (CHILE) – TRAINING FOR RURAL STUDENTS
This initiative seeks to provide tools and 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 and that combines theory and practice in the fields of biotechnology, molecular biology, and genetic engineering, among others.
9) WITH HÉCTOR (COLOMBIA) – VIRTUAL ADVICE FOR LABOR INSERTION
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 counsel for job placement, mixing scientific information about the job market and the skills of young people.
Young people enter their data so the app will know the needs and characteristics to personalize their reports.
10) SCHOOL KIT KIT (COLOMBIA) – APP FOR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION
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 focused mainly 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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