NYC Media Lab, Verizon Reveal $1M Museum Initiative


As part of the 5G EdTech Challenge program, the Museum Initiative opens a nationwide call for museums and cultural institutions to develop new educational content for the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal.

In partnership with Verizon, NYC Media Lab has launched the $1M Museum Initiative—a nationwide open call for museums and cultural institutions to develop and offer new educational content on the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal (

This Initiative builds on the 5G EdTech Challenge, launched in 2018, which called on nonprofits to create transformative education tools that leveraged 5G connectivity.

Verizon Logo

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

In an effort to expand Verizon Innovative Learning HQ’s library of curricular applications, the newly launched $1M Museum Initiative aims to connect educators nationwide with museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums, and cultural institutions who are able to showcase innovative edtech approaches that weave together physical and digital experiences.

As a result, the $1M Museum Initiative will allow awardees a rare opportunity to reach new audiences by supporting the development of virtual, immersive experiences that can be blended into hybrid physical experiences and/or exhibits in their respective spaces.

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

Taking stock of the monumental changes both schools and cultural institutions have faced during COVID, Abran Maldonado, NYC Media Lab’s Associate Director for the 5G EdTech Challenge program, says, “The partnership between these storied organizations with cutting-edge 5G education technologies will create a wealth 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 within the winning applicants’ curricula are intended to reflect a broad range of possibilities, and will support teachers, improve educational outcomes, and/or increase student engagement.

Over the course of the multi-phase program that will run through December 2022, participating institutions will have access to: 1) 5G edtech expert and practitioner teams 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 tech; and 4) stakeholders from NYC Media Lab and Verizon.

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