5G EdTech Program | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

5G EdTech Program

NYC Media Lab & Verizon Innovative Learning

a young student wearing VR headset holding controllers


NYC Media Lab embarked on a journey with Verizon Innovative Learning to seek, cultivate, and scale cutting-edge 5G edtech AR and VR learning applications for schools nationwide. 

Beginning with a nationwide open call in 2018, the Verizon 5G Labs, Verizon Foundation, and NYC Media Lab selected 10 university and nonprofit teams to participate in the 5G EdTech Challenge. From AR and VR experiences, to machine learning, AI, and mixed reality, the projects were chosen for their potential to demonstrate a compelling use case for 5G technology and ability to solve for student engagement, teacher preparedness, and special needs support. 

The ten winning teams received a total of $1 million, and advanced into an intensive, 15-week product development and rapid prototyping curriculum. Throughout the program, Verizon and NYC Media Lab provided technical guidance and mentorship to help the teams advance their solutions. The resulting projects reflect how transformative 5G technologies will provide extraordinary opportunities in education.

Today, in partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning’s network of hundreds of middle schools, these technologies are being integrated into STEM curricula across the country. Many of these applications were developed by the leading minds in science and technology at top universities. Both K12 educators and after-school enrichment program leaders can register with Verizon’s new learning platform to access all of these amazing tools. 

NYC Media Lab is actively looking for content partners to contribute lesson plans and stem curriculum resources based on the 5G edtech applications. If you are interested in submitting content, read below for more information.

Become a Curriculum Content Partner

Calling teachers, educators, and experts to help reimagine and deliver immersive instructional resources to schools across the country!

NYC Media Lab and Verizon’s Innovative Learning Initiative teams are working together to facilitate the development and testing of cutting-edge 5G edtech learning solutions. 

Launched in 2019, the 5G EdTech Challenge selected teams of researchers, startups, and educators to create immersive experiences that offer teachers and students new ways to interact with educational content. Each app and team participated in an accelerator program and are now at the cusp of school implementation.

As Verizon continues to build new labs and install 5G into its partner schools, each team is refining their implementation strategies by conducting pilot rollouts with select schools. As these solutions are implemented in select middle schools, the NYC Media Lab and the Verizon Foundation will assess their impact.

As this program prepares to scale, there are new opportunities for the teams to grow and further develop their understanding of edtech product development and deepen their perspectives, empathy, and impact for educators and students.

The NYC Media Lab and the 5G Apps Teams need your support to deliver rigorous instructional resources to schools across the country. Please complete the form below if you have an idea for a standards-aligned lesson or unit to accompany one of the 5G edtech applications.

We greatly appreciate your contributions to create a robust curriculum for these edtech applications! 

Submit a Lesson

The 5G EdTech Program Cohort


virtual desk with a computer, a globe, a phone, and keys

5G Covet (5G Cosmos Verizon Education Toolkit

A set of virtual educational labs, each forming a virtual room in which students visit and collaborate while moving from room to room; similar to the popular “escape rooms” experience.

Team Members (NYU & Columbia): Panagiotis Skrimponis, Karen Cheng, Thanasis Korakis, Sheila Borges Rajguru, Gil Zussman, Emily Ford, Zoran Kostic, Jonathan Ostrometzky, Kayla Quinnies


Virtual cells cut in half and "Looking Inside Cells" logo

Looking Inside Cells

An interactive VR lab that allows you to build cells from organelles, specialize cells for roles in organisms, and control the stages of mitosis to divide your own cells.

Team Members (NYU): Aniol Saurina Maso, Chris Hovey, Jan Plass, Al Olsen, Fabian Froehlich, Ken Perlin, Sounak Ghosh.


Unsung logo

UNSUNG: An AR Storybox by Movers & Shakers NYC

An interactive, multiplayer AR learning experience. Students read through passages about female icons of color and answer multiple choice questions in the app. Correct answers will unlock different rooms related to their lives that students can explore with our AR app.

Team Members: Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, Micah Milner


an iPad and headphones on a table

Mapper’s Delight, Rap Research Lab

Mapper’s Delight is a STEAM-driven mixed reality environment that allows students to explore geography through Hip-hop. Working with our database of hundreds of thousands of rap songs from 1979 to the present day, students explore the secret flows and hidden layers of hip-hop’s sociology, history, and linguistic innovations. Mapper’s Delight provides the means for teachers and students to collaborate using engaging visualizations, cultural relevance, and a project-based approach to data science and experimentation.


Robot in space while surrounded by planets

Visceral Science

An immersive VR experience inviting students to explore inaccessible realms, including stars, planets, black holes, and galaxies. Click here.

Team Members (Columbia): Brian Greene, Tracy Day, Steve Feiner, Mik Labanok


A women and a kid playing VR on a red couch

GRX Immersive: Arts Beats & Tech

A creative collaboration application for desktop and virtual reality with the purpose of enriching educational goals as embodied by STEAM through the production of music and spoken word. It offers opportunities to teach a variety of subjects beyond sound and music, including basic physics, math, and entrepreneurism. The goal of this virtual reality and PC Digital Audio Workstation application is to heighten the individual user’s creative awareness and STEAM skills, knowledge of world music, collaboration, and cultural knowledge.

Team Members: Alton Glass, John Junior


Drawing of 2 people looking to different sides

Career Day

Career Day is an episodic AR series bringing holograms of some of the most influential creative and STEM professionals into schools around the country. Each episode of the series is an interactive conversation with a new hologram that students can learn from and look up to. The goal of this experience is to inspire students to explore careers previously unthought of by having an intimate conversation with leading experts. Student's conversations with these holograms are meant to uncover a deep understanding of each expert's career as well as the societal importance of what they do.

Team Members: Asad Malik, Michael Broccolo, Jake Sally


drawing of multiple fishes in a coral reef


Aurelia is an augmented reality game that explores deep sea ecosystems to teach students about biology, chemistry, and the environment. It encourages them to learn by applying concepts through logic, creativity, and inclusive community building. In each chapter, students are given a new underwater "world" with its own properties and environment. Each student is then encouraged to design their own fish with the correct properties that would allow it to thrive in that environment. 

Team Members: Asad Malik, Michael Broccolo, Jake Sally


Multiple virtual cameras in the process of 3D capturing an object

CocoExchange & CocoCast

In CocoExchange, classes capture 3D models while on their usual physical field trips, and subsequently inhabit and share them with another class in VR. The experience brings together a novel virtual social interaction environment, a hands-on math and technology learning opportunity, and the enrichment of an additional field trip. Built on the same inspiration, CocoCast allows learners at home or in the classroom to capture a 3D object and tell a story about it. They can also browse objects and stories created by others.

Team Members: Scott W. Greenwald, Gavin McDowell, Hung Nguyen


A virtual landscape with different ecosystems

Arcadia Earth

Arcadia Earth is a next generation art exhibition and extended reality experience designed to reimagine the way we address the most pressing environmental issues of our time. It is the first multi-channel platform to offer a powerful, intimately personal exploration of the plight of our planet through immersive physical installations and the futuristic lens of AR and VR. With a focus on individual empowerment, each experience provides educational commentary uncovering inconvenient truths about the future of our planet accompanied by easily actionable suggestions to inspire everyone to become part of the solution. 

Team Members: Valentino Vettori, Cristiano Quieti