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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Student Team Finalists Announced in Transforming Education Challenge Sponsored by SMART Technologies

February 25, 2020 GMT

CALGARY, Canada, Feb. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the second consecutive year, SMART Technologies is supporting the next generation of students to prepare for our complex world through hands-on innovation challenges. In partnership with the Conrad Challenge, SMART sponsors an annual competition that gives students between the ages of 13-18 the chance to become entrepreneurs and apply innovation by using science and technology to solve problems with global impact.

This year, SMART’s sponsored category “Transforming Education Through Technology” experienced a record number of 88 students registering (and over 275 individual students). The top five finalist teams from around the world have now been selected. They will participate in the Conrad Challenge finals annual summit this April, where they will present their innovations on stage “Shark Tank” style to a panel of five judges composed of local and global education leaders. The winners will be announced on Friday, April 24 at the 2020 awards dinner, held at the Apollo/Saturn V Center in Florida.

“Preparing for a world beyond school will require students to embark on innovation, entrepreneurship and social and emotional skills,” said Greg Estell, President and Chief Executive Officer of SMART Technologies. “We turned our focus to the most well-informed consumers and advocates of education – the students themselves – to understand what transformation needs to happen in the education environment to support student learning. Our teams provide mentorship and software to foster collaboration for the teams to develop innovations to better education environments and we strongly believe their genius will produce amazing outcomes.”

SMART Technologies also supports innovation through higher education in partnership with the Harvard Initiative for Teaching and Learning (HILT) via Operation Impact, who conducts a similar innovation challenge for post-secondary students. They’ve been able to bridge the two innovation challenges and create a continuum of student innovation by offering some of the most promising Conrad Challenge teams an opportunity to receive online coaching from Harvard’s Operation Impact fellows. The winning student team will also be offered a trip to Harvard University to facilitate personalized coaching and more.

Along with the Harvard trip, SMART has offered a trip and presentation opportunity to one of the largest technology tradeshows, ISTE 2020 this June in Anaheim, California. Plus, they will receive technology, scholarships and a new SMART Board® interactive flat panel for their school to support engagement and collaboration in other learners and teachers.

All students participating in innovation challenges through the Conrad Challenge and Operation Impact, receive complimentary SMART Learning Suite software and training to support their iteration process and business plans, and development of their pitch presentations.

Congratulations to the five finalists in this year’s “Transforming Education Through Technology” category, representing diversity of thought and unique innovations that have big potential.

-- Lucidity from Foster City & Palo Alto California. Their innovation helps battle internet addiction and increase productivity at school, home and work. -- Spokescience with members from Arizona, California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This innovation is a platform that enables researchers to connect with science-oriented and environmentally conscious social media influencers. -- Stutterless from Pleasanton, California. This team’s innovation is an inexpensive, personalized, Python-based mobile application that helps the user overcome stuttering by simulating traditional therapy. -- ScintillaVR from Fremont, California. This innovation is an educational virtual reality platform used to help students learn in a fun, entertaining way. -- Cheat Sheet from Charlotte, North Carolina. This team’s innovation uses AI in a pre-formatted notebook to help compile notes.

SMART will be working closely with these amazing student teams over the next few months to support them as they continue to develop their innovations and potential go-to-market strategies.

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 30 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 a 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.

Shannon McLaughlin SMART Technologies ShannonMcLaughlin@smarttech.com