By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is challenging developers nationwide to create mobile applications that will promote students’ education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The DoD launched the contest last week through the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, a research and development office within the DoD. The contest runs from April 2 to June 4.

“The STEM App Challenge will benefit the national STEM efforts for K-12 education, but may also have an immediate impact on the Defense Department,” said Kristy Murray, director of the ADL Initiative. “We are always looking for innovative ideas for how we better incorporate mobile devices for learning within DoD.”

According to the DoD, the objective of the contest is to create an app that will help students acquire concept knowledge and understanding by engaging in tasks, simulations, or situations that require them to critically evaluate what they are learning and create their own understanding of concepts.

The challenge is open to all mobile app developers who have creative ideas for developing apps that foster problem-solving, discovery, and exploratory learning in the targeted area of “common misconceptions of science.”

There is no cost for entering the challenge.

All entries will be judged by evaluators in three primary areas: Learning Solution to a Stated Problem; Technical Quality; and Usability. Entries may be submitted that run on a mobile device or through emulation on a PC.

The winning developers will be showcased at the ADL Initiative’s iFest Conference in Orlando, Fla., July 31 through Aug. 2. To submit an app entry, visit http://www.adlnet.gov/stem-app-challenge.

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