VR, it’s not just for gaming. See how it can train our workforce.

VR, it’s not just for gaming. See how it can train our workforce.

What if students could learn by doing, instead of memorizing facts from a textbook?

This was the question posed by the EdSim Challenge, a prize competition from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and powered by Luminary Labs. The Challenge offers $680,000 for education simulations to prepare students for future careers.

The competition’s five finalists are making this dream a reality. They use virtual and augmented reality to teach 21st century career skills, from medical anatomy to collaborative problem-solving. Hailing from research universities, medtech startups, and gaming studios, the solutions take students on adventures inside new worlds, such as an operating room, an archeological dig, and the brain.

The finalists are:

  • Case Western Reserve University: Holographic Anatomy to Transform Healthcare Learning is a digital alternative to cadaver-based dissection, teaching medical anatomy using Microsoft HoloLens.
  • Embodied Labs, Inc.: The Alfred Lab is a series of VR patient experience labs, training students to become better caregivers of aging populations.
  • Octothorpe LLC: The Irregular: Sherlock Holmes is a VR experience that uses critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork to explore subjects such as chemistry and psychology.
  • Osso VR Inc.: Osso VR is an orthopedic surgical training simulation platform that specializes in realistic, hands-on interaction.
  • Smart Sparrow: LifeCraft explores the story of life on Earth through various VR journeys ranging from archeology and biology, to astronomy.

The teams will each take home $50K and prizes from sponsors including Oculus, Samsung, and HTC Vive, while moving into the Virtual Accelerator to adapt their solutions to meet learner needs. We congratulate the teams as they now move onto the next phase of the Challenge. Learn more about our work with Ed Prizes for the U.S. Department of Education.