September 19, 2021
News & Announcements

Tyto Online selected as a Solver Team for Equitable Classrooms Challenge during MIT Solve Challenge Finals 2021

Lindsey Tropf

We are thrilled to announce that Tyto Online has been selected as a Solver Team via the MIT Solve's Global Challenges competition. Each year, MIT Solve launches a number of Global Challenges to tackle some of the most pressing challenges around the year. This year, one of those focuses was on Equitable Classrooms, asking innovators globally: "How can all young learners have access to quality, safe, and equitable learning environments? "

Solve's Equitable Classrooms Challenge received over 500 applications from 83 countries around the world. As part of the process, we completed a detailed application, created a 3m pitch, had a judges' Q&A with an illustrious global panel of education and equity innovators, and completed additional diligence responses about the product and our research behind it.

Watch our Winning Pitch

The entire cohort of Equitable Classrooms Solver teams is incredible.  Please check out their announcement blog post here to read about the other 6 Solver teams!

Prizes & Support

We were humbled and honored to also have received $247,500 in grant funding from MIT Solve and prizes from generous organizations who work with MIT Solve to provide additional funding to help teams like us expand our work.  So we'd like to take a moment below to acknowledge each of these funders, and the type of work they're supporting with these grants.

The ASA Prize for Equitable Education

"The ASA Prize for Equitable Education will award a prize for digital solutions tailored to U.S.-based primary and secondary classrooms that provide career exploration or experimentation. Solutions that are embedded as part of core curriculum, utilize project based learning, ensure equitable access, and have an emphasis on teacher professional development are preferred. American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals."

We're thrilled to have support from American Student Assistance® (ASA) since they're doing incredible work supporting students' early career exploration. Right now, our career exploration is mainly implicit: students already “do” the careers with botanists, ecologists, and even social servants as they explore various STEM problems and help the community in the game. We're looking to begin expanding this: creating explicit career-focused quests, showing students the critical skills they are building, and other other solutions to extend this impact from implicit career attitudinal changes to explicit exploration.

The GSR Prize

"GSR will award a prize to solutions that use an innovative and sustainable approach to tackling the most pressing issues of their local communities. As a leading cryptocurrency trading firm, GSR seeks to support education (in particular STEM), alleviate poverty, and contribute to a sustainable world, with an emphasis on blockchain or innovative technology-powered solutions."

GSR's Corporate Social Responsibility Director let me know that STEM education was an area the GSR team is passionate about supporting, including the interest in increasing the diversity of those who chose STEM careers. GSR's support will help us continue to build more social-impact focused STEM content, make Tyto Online easier to use in classroom, and help expand our reach.

The GM Prize

"The GM Prize is open to solutions that help create smart, safe, and sustainable communities around the world. The Prize is funded by General Motors, which is working toward becoming the most inclusive company in the world, and dedicated to making STEM education more accessible and equitable"

We were also thrilled to learn more about GM's goal of becoming the most inclusive company in the world, and how they wanted to support STEM education and equity. Our entire focus of impact is in increasing STEM engagement and career interest in equitable ways for diverse students: aligned 100% with GM’s mission in funding solutions in the Solver community. GM's prize will also help us support and expand this work.

Want to learn more about equity in science education?

Looking for some resources to understand equity work in science/STEM education?  Whether you're trying to understand what we do, or what you can do for your students -- here are some resources!

Webinar on Culturally Responsive & Antiracist Science Teaching

You can watch our webinar on Culturally Responsive & Antiracist Science Teaching embedded below, or on a full page at this link. This is mainly about general research and approaches that educators can use; we don't really talk about Tyto Online much except for ~1m at the end!  But these are strategies we've been incorporating!

Want to learn more, and about how Tyto Online is incorporating these ideas?

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