SBIR Phase I: Contagious Disease Modeling Toolkit- Virtual Model Building for Learning
Small Business Information
727 Airport Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to develop, deploy, and evaluate a virtual reality-based modeling kit, called Contagious Disease Modeling (CDM) Toolkit, which will enable students to build virtual 3-D models of viruses and bacteria within a web-based inquiry framework. This system will enable students to explore fundamental questions of virus/bacteria trajectories, infection methodologies, public health strategies, and treatments. Built on a simulation of virtual people's activity in the home (similar to The Sims game, where one can set up a household, define the character traits of the residents, and control their interactions), students will create models related to infectious diseases: models of viruses and bacteria that will infect the virtual people, models of immune system and treatment interventions that will fight viruses and bacteria, and models of behavior that will enact public safety recommendations. Research has shown that students do not effectively blend lectures, 2-D static images, and textual descriptions of scientific phenomena. Building virtual reality models is the right match for the content and builds deep understanding of the 3-D nature of science concepts and the inquiry skills of model based science. This instructional approach and base technology, by Cybernet Systems, has the potential to open up an entirely new mode of instruction that will be extendable to many other mathematics, science, and technology domains. The market will be middle school life science, high school, undergraduate and graduate biology, graduate public and environmental health, and professional medical-related programs including medicine and nursing.
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