What would happen if we invested $1 billion or more in bold education R & D initiatives designed to generate fresh but evidence-backed solutions to some of education’s toughest challenges?
Join the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute for a “Shark-Tank” style competition, where ten early-round finalists present their “billion-dollar Moonshot ideas” to a panel of tough judges, all for a chance to win $10,000 and have their idea propelled to widespread attention and potential major investment. Each finalist’s proposal will address one of these urgent issues:
- Reducing by half the number of fourth graders reading below the Basic level.
- Doubling the amount of high-quality feedback middle school students receive.
- Achieving universal college and career counseling for all students before the ninth grade.
- Doubling the number of eighth graders who can write an effective persuasive essay.
- Doubling the number of young women majoring in STEM fields.
Our “sharks” are:
- Kumar Garg, Senior Director for Technology and Society at Schmidt Futures
- Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, Vice President of Policy at ExcelinEd
- Michael Simmon, U.S. history teacher at IN-Tech Academy, NYC
- Sara Allan, K–12 Education Strategy Leadership at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Takeru Nagayoshi, English teacher in the New Bedford Public Schools, MA
Join the conversation on social media with #MoonshotforKids. If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. A full video will be posted to this page and to our YouTube channel within twenty-four hours.
4:00PM – Opening remarks from Michael J. Petrilli, Fordham, and Ulrich Boser, CAP
4:05PM – First round of finalists presents their Moonshot proposals*
Reduce by half the number of 4th graders reading below the Basic level
- Anna Utgoff – Bibliomatic
- Ginger Young – Book Harvest
- Tom Neumark – Frederick Classical Charter School
Double the number of eighth-graders who can write a persuasive essay
- Michelle Brown – CommonLit
- Ogden Morse – FineTune
4:45PM – Break
4:55PM – Second round of finalists presents their Moonshot proposals*
Double the amount of high-quality feedback middle school students receive
- Kareem Farah – The Modern Classrooms Project
Universal college or career counseling for all students before ninth grade
- Jayda Batchelder – Education Open Doors
- Lavanya Mohan – Harvard Graduate School of Education
Double the number of young women majoring in STEM fields
- Lindsey Tropf – Immersed Games
- Ryan Torbey – National Robot Library
5:35PM – Judges break to score / discuss presenters
5:50PM – Winner announced by Kumar Garg, Schmidt Futures
5:55PM – Closing remarks from Michael Petrilli and Ulrich Boser
6:00PM – Reception
*For more information on the finalists and their proposals, see this event's supplemental document.