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VRJournal learned Wednesday that Smart Sparrow has been named a finalist in the U.S. Department of Education’s ‘EdSim Challenge,’ a national design competition aimed at advancing students’ career and technical skills with immersive, computer-based simulations.

We’re told that the adaptive learning innovator was recognized for its simulation concept, LifeCraft.

If you’re not familiar, LifeCraft explores the story of life on Earth through virtual reality field trips in subjects ranging from archeology to astronomy.

“We are honored by this recognition from the Department for our continued efforts to fundamentally transform the way science is taught,” said Dror Ben-Naim, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Smart Sparrow. “The advancement of technology, coupled with new insights about how we learn, allows us to design engaging virtual learning experiences and support dynamic learning in hands-on fields like science. We know interactive and adaptive experiences help students learn best, and we’re excited about this competition in how they’re helping propel innovative approaches to learning.”

Smart Sparrow joins four other finalists in the EdSim Challenge: Case Western Reserve University, Embodied Labs, Inc., Octothorpe LLC, and Osso VR Inc.

The Virtual Accelerator phase will culminate in Demo Day, where each of the finalists will present their playable prototypes to the panel of judges. The judges will recommend the grand prize winner(s) to receive remaining $430,000 of the $680,000 cash prize and additional in-kind prizes from IBM and Microsoft.

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