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Interactive Digital Media STEM Resources for Pre-College and Informal Science Education Audiences (STTR) (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, every 3 years, the reading ability, math and science literacy and other key STEM skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The 2015 PISA results show that, among the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, United States students performed below average in mathematics and are ranked 27th. Performance in reading and science are both close to the OECD average. The United States ranks 17 in reading and 20 in science. There has been no significant change in the rankings of US students over time.

IDM is a bridge technology that converts game-based activities from a social pastime to a powerful educational tool that challenges students with problem solving, conceptual reasoning and goal-oriented decisions. Well-designed interactive digital media resources mimic successful teacher pedagogy and exploit student interest in games for learning. IDM resources also integrate imbedded learning, e.g., what the student knows and new information obtained in the gaming process, into problem solving skills. IDM resources provide real time student assessment. Unlike standardized classroom testing where student achievement is a pass or fail process, IDM-based assessment is interactive, does not punish the student, and provides feedback on how to move to the next level of play. IDM resources are intended to generate long-term changes in student performance, educational outcomes and career choices.

The purpose of this FOA is to provide opportunities for eligible SBCs to submit NIH STTR grant applications to develop interactive digital media STEM resources that address student career choice and health and medicine topics for: P-12 students and Teachers or (2) ISE audiences. NIH supports and encourages emerging new educational technologies that will provide IDM STEM resources for students, teachers and the community. The science education research objective of this FOA is the development of new IDM resources that will advance our understanding of how STEM-based gaming can improve student learning.  It is anticipated that increasing underserved and minority student achievement in STEM fields through IDM STEM resources will encourage these students to pursue health-related careers that will increase student economic and social opportunities. A diverse health care workforce will help to expand health care access for the underserved, foster research in neglected areas of societal need, and enrich the pool of managers and policymakers to meet the needs of a diverse populations.

It is important that the American public understands that their quality of health is defined by lifestyle habits. If this message is understood, people can begin to live longer and reduce the healthcare burden to society. Therefore, this FOA also encourages IDM STEM resources that will stimulate behavioral changes towards a healthier lifestyle.

Types of applications submitted to this FOA may vary with the target audience, scientific content, educational purpose and method of delivery. IDM STEM resources may include, but are not limited to: game-based curricula; attitude changes toward learning; new skills development; teamwork and group activities; public participation in scientific research (citizen science) projects; and behavioral changes in lifestyle and health.  IDM STEM resources designed to increase the number of underserved students (e.g., American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, female, disabled, or otherwise underrepresented) considering careers in basic, behavioral or clinical research are encouraged.

IDM STEM resources may be designed for use in-classroom or out-of-classroom settings, e.g., as supplements to existing classroom curricula, for after-school science clubs, libraries, hospital waiting rooms and science museums. IDM resources may target children in group settings or individually, with or without adult or teacher participation or supervision.

The proposed project may use any IDM or gaming technology and platform

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

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