Promoting STEM Education for Students Who are Blind or Print Disabled Through the Development of the First Talking Pocket Size Scientific Data Collection Device for Classroom and F

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945481
Agency Tracking Number: 0945481
Amount: $199,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
1281 Win Hentschel Blvd., West Lafayette, IN, 47906
DUNS: 830517392
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Cary Supalo
 (814) 441-2589
Business Contact
 Cary Supalo
Title: MS
Phone: (814) 441-2589
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a system to provide text-to-speech capabilities for a vital and popular scientific device thus providing non-visual operating capacity for such a device, an essential feature for blind/print disabled students. The proposed activity is a collaborative venture between a well established educational company, a large research university, and a company that specializes in increasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) accessibility for blind/print disabled students. The research addresses advancing state-of-the-art educational technologies and will provide insights into topical issues concerning STEM education and careers. The proposed project addresses this goal by promoting STEM to students with print disabilities via a technology that will increase hands-on accessibility during science education. Students with print disabilities are under-represented in STEM careers. Insufficient hands-on science learning experiences could underlie this under-representation and will be investigated as a possible factor. Understanding such factors could facilitate development of additional technologies and strategies for increasing STEM representation, thus furthering NSF goals. The project will result in a marketable product, and based on an analysis of competitive and alternative technologies, will be in a positive position in the competitive landscape. Commercial benefits of the project involve the creation of employment opportunities in a STEM based educational company focused on increasing accessibility. In addition, this technology can be used both in the laboratory and in the home use. Potential home applications are temperature tracking of food items, GPS navigation, and pH detection for swimming pools. Finally, the innovation will enable data collection without sight or light. Many experiments require dark or low light conditions and the innovation will be instrumental for developing technologies for these experiments and in enabling future discoveries.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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