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Institute of Education Sciences to Host Ed-Tech Expo in D.C.

The ninth annual ED Games Expo will occupy the Kennedy Center from Sept. 19-22, with ed-tech developers and representatives of public agencies talking to students and teachers about classroom tools and innovations.

A laptop with books coming out the back of it. White background.
More than 1,000 K-12 students from the Washington, D.C., area will gather in the nation’s capital next week with educators and ed-tech developers to explore and showcase technological innovation.

The ninth annual ED Games Expo takes place at the Kennedy Center Sept. 19-22. Hosted by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an independent research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, the event is the largest public and federally funded showcase of ed-tech experiences, according to a news release last week.

All told, students and teachers from 48 classrooms will collaborate with ed-tech developers and representatives from more than 20 different federal agencies through talks, demonstrations, and classroom exercises related to math and science, civics, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Students will learn about how science, innovation and education “meet real-world applicability,” the news release said.

According to the IES website, most expo events are open to the public, and there will also be a livestreamed “Science is Cool Unconference” with presentations from renowned ed-tech tool developers and STEM education experts.

Showcase topics include early learning and technology; scaling evidence-based ed tech in post-secondary education; special education and technology; cyber-learning and gaming; mental health in rural and underserved schools; and various other topics, according to the IES events schedule.

The expo portion of the event features more than 200 different learning games, some of which incorporate virtual reality or augmented reality gameplay. Topics of the games cover early learning, reading, STEM subjects, social skills, social studies and tools to help those with learning disabilities, according to the event webpage.

One of the games, “Bubble Beats,” incorporates music with hand-washing lessons to make hygiene more fun. The “Crossroads: New Decisions” game for teens focuses on making healthy decisions, with an emphasis on communities that are disproportionately impacted by substance abuse problems. And “Fate & Fortune” challenges eighth-grade algebra students to apply their math skills in designing ships and managing their shipping company as they travel around the world in the 1600s to buy and sell spices, according to the event webpage.

The developers of all games and technologies featured at the expo will be on hand to converse with educators and families, to explain how they created the games and recommend how kids might become developers themselves, the webpage said.