Designs for Learning €10K competition to look at digital education

5 Jun 2012

Michael John Gorman, director of Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, pictured at the 2011 Designs for Learning finals at the gallery

Science Gallery and the NDRC are teaming up to offer a €10,000 investment fund for new digital learning projects that can bridge the gap between school and home education. The idea is to enable young people to learn wherever they are.

Now in its second year, the competition is open to anyone with digital ideas they believe can pave the way for a new era of education outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Three winners from the five eventual finalists will share a €10,000 prize fund from Science Gallery. They will also get support from NDRC’s Inventorium programme to help them create new ventures and commercialise their ideas.

NDRC Inventorium director Mark Kearns said anybody who has ever had an idea about linking digital learning with non-digital learning, about linking the classroom with the real world, or about linking traditional learning with new methods, should enter the competition.

“Through Designs for Learning, we are particularly keen to see ideas for new learning products emerging from the research base.” He added that the competition is also open to very early stage concepts.

People have until 14 September to submit their ideas.

The chosen five finalists will then work at the NDRC for four weeks in October to develop their concepts. In November, the finals will take place at Science Gallery, where the five teams will pitch their business plans. Three winning projects will get a share of the €10K fund.

Science Gallery director Michael John Gorman said Designs for Learning is open to all.

“Many of these ideas have the potential to become sustainable endeavours and following the four-week course, the head-to-head competition in The Science Gallery will result in some of the projects receiving further investment and support,” he said.

Winners of the first prize will get €5,000, while €3,000 and €2,000 in funding will go to second and third place respectively.

“Ultimately we want to provoke curiosity, inspire discovery and bring learning to unexpected places and situations,” added Gorman.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic