Conrad Challenge and SMART Technologies Continue Unique Partnership that Unleashes Students’ Potential to Change the World

For the second consecutive year, the Conrad Challenge will feature a special category, Transforming Education Through Technology, empowering students to take control of their educational experience

HOUSTON – Officials with the Conrad Challenge are pleased to announce for the second consecutive year, that the Challenge will include a special category sponsored by SMART Technologies. Within the Transforming Education Through Technology category, Challenge participants are encouraged to identify and create new technologies or services to help transform education experiences and drive better outcomes for individual students, schools or communities.

Registration for this year’s Conrad Challenge will open Friday, August 23. Teams of 2-5 students, between the ages of 13-18, are encouraged to register by visiting www.conradchallenge.org.

“The Conrad Challenge offers students a unique opportunity to collaborate on designing solutions to real-world problems. This special category invites students to actively participate in their education by designing new technologies with the potential of transforming learning,” said Nancy Conrad, Founder and Chairman of the Conrad Foundation, who hosts the Conrad Challenge. “SMART is widely recognized as a leader in educational technology and is an ideal partner for this category. We look forward to the unique perspective our student teams will offer and can’t wait to see their innovative solutions.”

Studies have shown that technology in the classroom doesn’t automatically lead to better student outcomes, but when the right technology is implemented in alignment with well-thought-out instructional strategies and objectives, it can accelerate learning in a meaningful way. The Conrad Challenge will unleash students’ innovation and entrepreneurial skills to develop new commercially viable technologies that can help learners across the globe achieve positive outcomes, which include higher test scores and pass rates, as well as impacts to key social-emotional skills like collaboration and adaptability.

"Encouraging and enabling students to examine their own learning and develop innovative and effective solutions for improving outcomes is important,” said Jeff Lowe, SMART Chief Marketing Officer. “These students are the future and we want them to drive new ways of thinking, new ways of using technology, and new ways to truly transform education globally.”

There are countless areas in which new technologies or services could be developed to impact learning. Just a few of the possibilities include:

  • Physical space―Reimagining the learning environment and how can it be improved to be more effective.
  • Curriculum and content―How learning content might be improved to support better student outcomes.
  • Processes―New processes that might be employed to improve learning tool implementations or educational community communications.
  • Learning systems/tools for students and teachers―Different ways in which content could be delivered.

Thanks to SMART’s sponsorship, all students participating in the 2019-2020 Conrad Challenge will receive complimentary SMART software and training to support their iteration process, business development and presentation(s).

In addition to Transforming Education Through Technology, the 2019-2020 Conrad Challenge will feature four more categories: Aerospace & Aviation; Cyber-Technology & Security; Energy & Environment; and Health & Nutrition. Interested participants can learn more about each category by visiting this page.

One of the unique aspects of the Conrad Challenge is the access to subject matter experts and judges from the best in business, industry, research and academia worldwide to guide teams throughout the process. The special categories will follow all of the traditional guidelines of the Conrad Challenge and adhere to the same timeline. In February 2020, five teams in each Challenge category will be chosen as finalists and travel to the annual Innovation Summit in April 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Interested teams should visit the 2019-2020 Conrad Challenge Overview for more information on this year’s competition. Registration will remain open until Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET, at which time all registered teams will submit their initial Investor Pitches outlining their projects. Expert judges will then select semi-finalist teams in each Challenge category who will be invited to develop comprehensive business plans for their innovations.

About the Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting collaborative, student-centered, real-world relevant learning that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs, the Foundation unleashes students’ potential to create impactful solutions and a sustainable society for future generations. For more information, visit www.conradchallenge.org.

About SMART Technologies

SMART is a world leader in classroom technology, providing interactive solutions to help every student and teacher discover and develop the greatness within them. A consistent innovator for more than 25 years, SMART is the inventor of the SMART Board® and the developer of SMART Notebook®, the world’s most popular collaborative learning software, and part of the SMART Learning Suite. With their full range of interconnected displays, software, and accessories, used in more than 3 million classrooms, SMART helps students and teachers around the world achieve better learning outcomes. To learn more, visit smarttech.com.

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Posted: August 15, 2019
in Media releases