Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge

Following a nationwide open call, The Verizon Foundation, in partnership with Verizon 5G Labs and NYC Media Lab, selected 10 university and nonprofit teams to participate in the Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge. From AR and VR experiences, to machine learning, AI and mixed reality, the projects were chosen for their potential to demonstrate a compelling use case for 5G technology and ability to solve for student engagement, teacher preparedness and special needs support. The ten winning teams received a total of $1 million, and advanced into an intensive, 15-week product development and rapid prototyping curriculum.

Throughout the program, Verizon and NYC Media Lab provided technical guidance and mentorship to help the teams advance their solutions.The resulting projects reflect how transformative 5G technologies will provide extraordinary opportunities in education.

Throughout 2020, The Verizon Foundation plans to bring select projects to life in schools. In addition, the Verizon Foundation announced its commitment to be first to bring 5G connectivity and curriculum to up to ten Verizon Innovative Learning Schools across the country at the start of the next school year.


5G COVET (5G COSMOS Verizon Education Toolkit), New York University in partnership with Columbia University – A set of virtual educational labs, each forming a virtual room in which students will visit and collaborate – moving from room to room – similar to the popular “escape rooms” experience. Team Members: Thanasis Korakis, Panagiotis Skrimponis, Karen Cheng, Sheila Borges Rajguru, Gil Zussman, Emily Ford, Zoran Kostic, Jonathan Ostrometzky, and Kayla Quinnies.

5G Enabled Collaborative Mixed Reality Classroom, New York University – Students work together in teams to construct and manipulate virtual models, form hypotheses, and test those hypotheses in real time. Team Members: Ken Perlin, Roger Kingsepp, Jan Plass, Chris Hovey, Alex Serralta, Zhenyi He, Connor DeFanti and Alexander Gao.

5G K-12 Robotics Classroom, Tufts University – A set of Augmented Reality tools and curriculum for robotics in K-12 classroom that gives students a clear understanding of the complex workflows of a robot. Team Members: Jivko Sinapov, Jennifer Cross, Chris Rogers, Amel Hassan, Andre Cleaver, and Faizan Muhammad.

Augmented Reality for Social Transition, Columbia University – A HoloLens game to help middle school students with special needs advance social interaction outside of the classroom in an augmented reality environment. Team Members: Xiaofan Zhang, Jullia Suhyoung Lim, Jaehyun Kim and Patrick Kwon.

Lumovia, Georgia Institute of Technology in partnership with University of Pennsylvania – An interactive, mobile, augmented reality application that overlays difficult-to-grasp physics concepts directly onto students’ everyday classroom environments so they can bridge theory and reality. Team Members: Henry Deng, Ishaani, Lindsay Kelly, and Arpit Narechania.

Making Projects with Purpose-Parsons/The New School –University students collaborate to co-create with middle school students to learn about solutions for simulated environmental problems by harnessing the power of Verizon 5G to deliver a multi-player virtual reality distance-learning classroom. Team Members: Anezka Sebek, Tammy Walters, Katherine Boehm, Julie Byers, Andrew Cotter, Samuel Levine, Kristiana Marcon, Surabhi Naik, Paolo Villanueva.

Mapper’s Delight, Rap Research Lab Mapper’s Delight is a STEAM-driven mixed reality environment that allows students to explore geography through hip-hop. Working with our database of hundreds of thousands of rap songs from 1979 to the present day, students explore the secret flows and hidden layers of hip-hop’s sociology, history and linguistic innovations. Mapper’s Delight provides the means for teachers and students to collaborate using engaging visualizations, cultural relevance, and a project-based approach to data science and experimentation. Team Members: Tahir Hemphill, David Goldberg, Ivaylo Getov, and Nick Fox-Gieg.

Playgrounds Physics, New York Hall of Science – A dynamic app that allows middle schoolers to use Physics as a tool for understanding their world in the classroom and beyond. Students document their own bodies in motion, track the paths of their physical activities, and use onscreen data tools to analyze the variables of force, energy, and motion. Team Members: Dorothy Bennett, Cornelia Brunner, Harouna Ba, Stephanie Chambers, Trent Oliver, and Robert Moskal.

Visceral Science: Grasping the Universe through Virtual Reality, World Science Festival in partnership with Columbia University – An immersive VR experience inviting students to explore inaccessible realms, including stars, planets, black holes, and galaxies. Team Members: Brian Greene, Steve Feiner, Tracy Day, Saakshi Dulani, Mark German, and Mik Labanok.

UNSUNG, an Augmented Reality Storybox, Movers and Shakers NYC – An interactive, multiplayer AR learning experience. Students will read through passages about female icons of color and answer multiple choice questions in the app. Correct answers will unlock different rooms related to their lives that students can explore with our AR app. Team Members: Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, and Micah Milner.