The U.S. Department of Education has launched the EdSim Challenge, which it says is aimed at stimulating the marketplace for computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and embedded assessment.

EdSim Challenge seeks next-generation educational simulations that strengthen academic, technical, and employability skills. The Department is most interested in immersive and engaging simulations that include clearly defined learning goals and build diverse skill sets. Five finalists will receive $50,000, while one grand prize winner receives $430,000.

Successful simulations will pair the engagement of commercial games with rigorous educational content to prepare students for the 21st century workforce, according to the Department of Education.

The developer community is encouraged to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components.