COSMOS Team Among the Winners of the Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge

The COSMOS team participated in the Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge, a nationwide open call to find innovative, cutting-edge, education technologies that will transform middle school education. COSMOS proposal called “5G COVET (COSMOS Verizon Education Toolkit)” got funded as one of the 10 projects that Verizon will support in order to enable innovative education applications into the schools with the support of 5G.

Panagiotis Skribonis, NYU graduate student, in the ORBIT testbed at Rutgers University, testing one of the COSMOS VR education labs that are being created in the 5G COVET Verizon project

The COSMOS team will develop the “Verizon 5G Education Toolkit”, using as a basis the educational material of the COSMOS education toolkit. The toolkit will be a set of hardware setup, a software framework and the corresponding educational material and will be based on VR and AR technologies. The software will implement a set of educational labs, each of them in a form of a virtual room. The students will be visiting the rooms and will move from one room to the other in the concept of the well-known escape room games.

Escape rooms are cooperative games, where the players work together to discover clues, solve a series of puzzles and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to eventually “escape the room” in a limited amount of time. Having a shared environment in which students are working together on a game designed around specific learning outcomes sets the groundwork for active learning and the development of social skills. These rooms have been growing in popularity around the world, and are an innovative way to bring technology and critical thinking into the classroom.

The COSMOS team has started the implementation of a series of escape rooms focussing on teaching high school students, concepts from physics, maths and life sciences. The team is working in close contact with the Verizon 5G team, aiming to the enhancement of the COSMOS Education activity through the integration of the new VR labs based on escape rooms into the COSMOS Education toolkit.