NYC Media Lab and Verizon Announce Million-Dollar Museum Initiative


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – In partnership with Verizon, NYC Media Lab today announced the launch of the $1 million Museum Initiative, a nationwide call open to museums and cultural institutions to develop and deliver new educational content on the Verizon Innovative Portal Learning HQ ( This initiative builds on the 5G EdTech Challenge, launched in 2018, which called on nonprofits to create transformative educational tools leveraging 5G connectivity.

In 2021, Verizon developed and launched Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a free, publicly available online education portal that offers next-generation learning for everyone. The site provides access to the latest augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) educational materials, including educational technology applications developed by 5G EdTech Challenge winners, standards-aligned lesson plans, and professional development accredited for educators.

In an effort to expand Verizon Innovative Learning HQ’s library of educational apps, the new $1 million museum initiative aims to connect educators nationwide with museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums and cultural institutions that are able to present innovative edtech approaches that weave together physical and digital experiences.

Accordingly, the Million Dollar Museums Initiative will provide award winners with a rare opportunity to reach new audiences by supporting the development of virtual and immersive experiences that can be combined with hybrid physical experiences and/or exhibitions. in their respective spaces.

Up to 10 institutions will be chosen by NYC Media Lab and awarded up to $100,000 per organization, totaling $1 million in educational funding. The national call for entries officially opens on February 15, 2022 and closes on April 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Interested representatives from US-based museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums and cultural institutions can easily apply online (

Taking stock of the monumental changes schools and cultural institutions have faced during COVID, Abran Maldonado, NYC Media Lab Associate Director for the 5G EdTech Challenge program, said, “The partnership between these legendary organizations with technologies 5G will create a multitude of new opportunities for students to learn in dynamic and innovative ways during this unprecedented time in our nation’s educational history.

The educational topics covered in the winning nominees’ programs are intended to reflect a wide range of possibilities and will support teachers, improve academic achievement and/or increase student engagement.

During the multi-phase program that will run until December 2022, participating institutions will have access to: 1) teams of 5G edtech experts and practitioners who are currently part of the program; 2) educators, students, parents and communities across the country; 3) creative technologists and experts in immersive and cutting-edge technology; and 4) NYC Media Lab and Verizon stakeholders.

Additionally, participating institutions will gain exposure to a national audience through the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal, gain access to thought leadership in the edtech space, and expand curriculum content expertise within cultural organizations.

To learn more about the Million Dollar Museums Initiative, join the mailing list to receive details about information sessions, deadline reminders and periodic updates ( Verizon Innovative Learning is a key component of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social progress, to help move the world forward for all.

About Verizon Innovative Learning

Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon’s educational initiative targeting Title 1 schools in partnership with Digital Promise, addresses barriers to digital inclusion. It is a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social progress. The program provides free devices, free internet access, and a technology-driven curriculum with the goal of transforming the learning experience. Through exposure to cutting-edge technology, the program enables students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to build an innovative workforce of tomorrow. In 2019, Verizon launched its first 5G-enabled Verizon Innovative Learning classroom, with a goal of 100 in the coming years. The company is committed to providing 10 million young people with digital skills training by 2030. Learn more at

About the NYC Media Lab

NYC Media Lab connects media and technology companies with New York universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. Comprised of a consortium including NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, School of Visual Arts, Manhattan College, and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab’s goals are to generate research and development, knowledge and talent transfer across all City campuses. For more information on NYC Media Lab, visit


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