Meet the Finalists of the Preparing for the 21st Century World Track | 2023-24 Tools Competition

We are thrilled to name the 30 finalists named in the Preparing for the 21st Century World track of the 2023-24 Tools Competition! 

In this track, 475 teams sought to prepare students to navigate the changing world, while advancing learning engineering as a whole. 

Tools in this track dive into durable skills development—such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication—career-focused planning, and help students master in-demand subjects relevant to the modern economy. We saw innovative proposals for tools centered on data science, artificial intelligence, social-emotional learning, and project-based learning, as well as tools that build student agency and support self-directed learning.

Read on to learn more about this year’s finalists. Winners will be announced in summer 2024.


Catalyst Award Level ($50,000) for early stage ideas or products.
  • Aiphabet: Your AI Journey Starts Here | Aiphabet, Inc (United States)

The Aiphabet School is an online learning tool grounded in informal learning research, offering comprehensive and hands-on artificial intelligence education to teenagers. Learn more on their website.

  • Artificial Mentors for Student-Driven Projects | Submitted as an Individual (United States)

Artificial Mentors for Student-Driven Projects connects students with artificial mentors, allowing them to discover and reflect on professional advice and CS concepts just in time to supercharge their project ideas.

  • CareerInfront | Submitted as an Individual (New Zealand)

CareerInfront is a computer-assisted career guidance solution that blends assessment, machine learning, and e-learning mediated via an AI-generated mentor/coach.

  • Clair: Collaborative Learning Agent for Interactive Reasoning | University of Twente (Netherlands)

Clair is a conversational agent for small group discussions that occasionally intervenes with reflective questions to help students elaborate further and engage with each other’s ideas.

  • CurioAI | Submitted as an Individual (United States)

CurioAI is a software toolkit for building customizable AI teaching assistants and/or learning companions using large language models, incorporating research and best practices on retrieval-augmented generation, prompt engineering, and data preparation.

  • EDUCATE Insights | EDUCATE Ventures Research (United Kingdom)

EDUCATE Insights is an ethical, AI-powered dashboard that measures and tracks 21st century skills such as metacognition. Learn more on their website.

  • Floria: Flourishing Through SEL in K-12 | Coschool (Colombia)

Floria is an AI powered social-emotional learning teaching assistant for K-12 teachers in Latin America. Learn more on their website.

  • HeyKiddo: An AI Coaching App for Parenting Adults | HeyKiddo, LLC (United States)

HeyKiddo is a smartphone coaching app—created by psychologists—for parents of children ages 5-12, to increase parenting confidence and decrease concerning childhood behavior. Learn more on their website.

  • Play Together | University of Toronto (Canada)

Play Together is a virtual platform designed to assess and enhance teenagers’ teamwork and leadership skills while fostering more diverse social interactions by virtually connecting students who usually cannot interact in-person. Learn more on their website.

  • Quested: The Career Odyssey Game (QCO) | Anutio (Canada)

Quested-Career-Odyssey is an interactive career exploration game that immerses students in realistic scenarios and empowers underrepresented students to overcome STEM intimidation. Learn more on their website.


Growth Award Level ($150,000) for products with some users and scale.
  • An AI-powered, Virtual Mentor for 21st Century Soft-Skills | ProjectSet (United Kingdom)

An AI-powered mentor guides and supports students through projects that help them to acquire and demonstrate their soft skills as well as generate research datasets. Learn more on their website.

  • Bookbot: Reading Coach for Early Grades | Bookbot (Australia)

Bookbot is an app that uses an interactive reading tutor to engage children in conversations to develop reading comprehension, critical thinking, and social-emotional skills. Learn more on their website.

  • BRAINLAB: An AI-based Tool to Help K-12 Students Explore and Acquire Skills for the Future of Work | UpBrainery Technologies (United States)

BrainLab—an innovative K-12 career pathing platform—aligns students’ interests and learned skills with future careers through AI-driven personalization, visual skills/career mapping, and immersive experiences.

  • Horizons Architecture | Horizons Architecture Systems (Mexico)

Horizons Architecture is an adaptive AI framework designed to transform complex endeavors into 21st century skills for achieving life goals. Learn more on their website.

  • InSTEP Assist | North Carolina State University (United States)

InSTEP Assist is an AI-powered tool to be integrated into the InSTEP platform, which offers free personalized professional learning to support teachers and instructional coaches in developing expertise in teaching statistics and data science in grades 6-12+. Learn more on their website.

  • Little Language Models | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Little Language Models introduces children to the powerful ideas underlying Generative AI.

  • MindHive: A Collaborative Research Tool to Build Science and Data Literacy Skills for Learners and Their Communities | New York University (United States)

MindHive will harness recent advancements in AI-powered no-code graphing and visualization interfaces to facilitate data engagement experiences for adolescents—building critical civic science and data literacies. Learn more on their website.

  • Readocracy | Readocracy (Canada)

Readocracy is like a Fitbit for learning—safely and automatically turning your content consumption anywhere into deep media literacy insights and microcredentials. Learn more on their website.

  • RoboCo AI: Integrating Generative AI for Dynamic and Equitable Robotics Education | Filament Games (United States)

RoboCo AI is a natural language robotics design tool that allows students to design robots through generative text prompts. Learn more on their website.

  • ThinkHumanTV: Using the Power of Hollywood to Build 21st Century Skills | Affectifi Inc. (United States)

ThinkHumanTV helps children and adults develop durable emotional skills while watching movies and shows on services like Netflix and Disney+. Learn more on their website.


Transform Award Level ($300,000) for established platforms with 10,000 or more users.
  • Code(मित्रा) | Pi Jam Foundation (India)

Code Mitra is an open-source, device-agnostic platform that imparts 21st-century skills to disadvantaged students through culturally responsive, contextualized, and language-specific game-based programming lessons. Learn more on their website.

  • ImBlaze | ImBlaze by Big Picture Learning (United States)

The ImBlaze system supports school and out-of-school youth and workforce development programs in connecting students with hands-on experiential career exploration experiences and other real-world learning opportunities. Learn more on their website.

  • AI-Generated Collaborative Simulations for Holistic, 21st-Century Education | (United States) enables educators to deploy AI-generated simulations that tailor to curriculum needs, fostering real-time 21st-century skill assessments and actionable student data. Learn more on their website.

  • Mobile Data Science Toolkit | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

The Mobile Data Science Toolkit empowers 7th to 12th graders to investigate data science and AI via app development, sparking hands-on discovery and creative expression in classrooms, while teaching data literacy, problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. Learn more on their website.

  • Orai: AI Speech Coach | Orai (United States)

Orai is an AI-powered speech coaching platform designed to enhance public speaking and communication skills—users receive real-time feedback on various aspects of their speech, such as pacing, tone, and word choice. Learn more on their website.

  • Quandary: Ethical Decision-Making for the 21st Century | Learning Games Network (United States)

Quandary is a free online game/app proven to cultivate students’ ethical decision-making skills and prosocial identities. Learn more on their website.

  • Skillsgapp: Preparing the Next Generation for the 21st Century World | Skillsgapp’s Skillionaire Games (United States)

Skillsgapp is a location-based career video games that connect our most needed jobs to those who need them most. Learn more on their website.

  • TAI | WeSchool’s AI Teaching Assistant | WeSchool (Italy)

WeSchool’s TAI enables anyone to be an instructional designer. Learn more on their website.

  • Teaching Self-Regulation Skills to Early Learners | Moshi (United Kingdom)

Moshi has developed a child centered, story-based AI tool that teaches kids self awareness and self-regulation strategies using fictional characters and settings that children can guide through a series of challenges. Learn more on their website.

  • TUMO Path | TUMO Center for Creative Technologies (Armenia)

TUMO Path is a hyper-personalized learning path assistant that puts teenagers in charge of their own education—maximizing outcomes, access, and equity. Learn more on their website.


See finalists for all tracks here.

The Tools Competition has three phases and multiple award levels to help winners create or enhance their tools. In this current third and final phase, finalists will pitch their tool before a panel of judges who will nominate winners of the competition. 

The Tools Competition has previously named 80 winners from 35 countries who are impacting more than 107 million learners worldwide. 

The 2023-24 Tools Competition is supported by: Schmidt Futures, Griffin Catalyst, Walton Family Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment, DARPA, Ballmer Group, Calbright College, Axim Collaborative, Jacobs Foundation, Endless Network, and OpenAI. 

Join our mailing list to receive updates on the next competition cycle—launching September 2024!


Meet the finalists for the Building an Adaptive & Competitive Workforce track here. Meet the finalists for all other tracks here.