Indian team finishes second at the Dell education challenge 2012
New Delhi, December 26, 2012: Dell today has released the winners of the Dell Education Challenge, a global competition for university students with entrepreneurial ideas to improve education, both in and out of the classroom.
The team comprising two Indian students, Sonali Gupta from Manipal Institute of Technology and Priyadeep Sinha from Indira Gandhi National Open University, was adjudged the first runner-up for its project Gyan (Knowledge) Lab and awarded a cash prize of $5,000. This team was among the four finalists who traveled to Dell World to compete for a $10,000 grand prize and other support to advance their innovative ideas.
The competition received more than 400 project entries from around the world, proposing solutions to today’s biggest issues in education, including those identified in a recent poll commissioned by Dell. Global poll respondents said technology gives students a more personalized experience that they value, but added that technology needs are not being met in schools today.
The grand prize of the Dell Education Challenge 2012 was awarded to Forward Tutoring, an online platform where students earn credits for volunteering in their communities and redeem those credits for tutoring from other qualified students; tutors in turn can earn scholarships and internships from supporting organizations. Forward Tutoring will use the funds, from the grand prize, to support burgeoning university chapters working to bring accessible online tutoring to communities.
Gyan Lab, the project from India that won the second place, is a kinesthetic lab facility that encourages and allows school kids (Grades 3-9) to learn practical concepts in Science, Social Science, Electronics, Robotics, Mathematics and Pre-vocational Learning (day to day activities and utilities), in a hands-on manner using practical experiments, activities and model-making. The facility is usually setup within a school free of cost and students attend it by paying an annual fee. Championing the concept of Constructivism Pedagogy (a new phenomenon in India), the lab has aligned its work to the best 5 curriculum standards of the world to give the most comprehensive real-life skills to school students at the most affordable prices.
The two other finalists who also traveled to Dell World in Austin for the competition were:
• e-Education for GAZA, which seeks to overcome geographic barriers to quality education for Gaza’s children with learning difficulties through video curriculum, where Gaza’s teachers can connect with education experts in their subject matters.
• Next Step Leaders, which provides leadership development training for highly effective teachers in roles such as department chairs or grade-level leaders. Teachers receive 360 degree feedback, personalized assessments, whole group leadership training and individualized one-on-one coaching.
Another seven Promising Projects were chosen to receive $1,000 each to advance their ideas. All projects in the Dell Education Challenge are automatically entered in the 2013 Dell Social Innovation Challenge, which supports promising young social innovators working to solve the world’s most pressing problems by providing teaching, training, start-up capital, and access to a network of mentors, advisers and like-minded student social entrepreneurs. Projects compete for more than $350,000 in cash awards and other prizes to bring their ideas to life. Entrants must post projects by Jan. 28, 2013 for consideration in the 2013 challenge.
“To participate on an enormous global platform with the Dell Education Challenge has been a very important lesson for us. We now feel more confident about the success of the project and are looking forward to utilizing the award and resources provided by the Dell Education Challenge to further enhance Gyan Lab and make it accessible to more and more kids in India.”
Priyadeep Sinha, Gyan Lab
“When students are given the opportunity to express their ideas for improving education, and when they are provided the tools and support to make these ideas a reality, transformation in learning whether in or out of the classroom happens. We are encouraged to see the enthusiasm and ideas from students around the world who participated in the Dell Education Challenge, and we look forward to working together to see the winning ideas come to fruition.”
Mark Horan, vice president of education, Dell
“We are thrilled to congratulate the winner of our first international spotlight challenge. We believe that education is one of the most important issues of our time and we are excited to support young social entrepreneurs who provide solutions in this area. We plan on doing more spotlight challenges focusing on issues of global concern as we shift to a year-round model of student engagement.”
Suzi Sosa, executive director, Dell Social Innovation Challenge