SBIR Phase I:Powers of Minus Ten

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1014425
Agency Tracking Number: 1014425
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-609
Small Business Information
121 12th Ave E #A, Seattle, WA, 98102
DUNS: 826537339
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Laura Gonzalez
 (412) 726-4274
Business Contact
 Laura Gonzalez
Title: PhD
Phone: (412) 726-4274
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes the development and assessment of a 3D-interactive application, Powers of Minus Ten (POMT), for the iPhone and PC platforms. POMT will be designed to accompany and supplement high school science curricula, and improve students' conceptions of the scale and structures of microscopic phenomena. The Phase I version of the application will teach basic biology concepts focusing on genetics. Research objectives include (1) developing accurate 3D biological content, (2) designing effective gameplay and interactivity mechanisms, and (3) ensuring the commercial and educational viability of the application. The project will employ an iterative design process that revolves around input from freshman and sophomore high school students in Seattle, WA. Evaluation will include formative and summative components. In the formative evaluation, the researchers will monitor the appeal, value, and usability of the POMT application. Summative evaluation of the application will determine its efficacy for teaching students about the scale and function of biological structures in genetics. The resulting technology is expected to foster students' understanding and excitement for STEM subject matter through engagement with a versatile, one-of-a- kind, commercial-quality application suitable for 21st century education. Currently, there is a critical market opportunity for educational content creators to begin designing high-quality game-based learning tools for K-12 Public Schools. Powers of Minus Ten (POMT) will be a multipurpose educational application that has the ability to contextualize a wide range of scientific visualizations across orders of magnitude, with demonstrated STEM educational value for Biology instruction. Most scientific discoveries relate to scales so far distant from the human experience that they are inconceivable to students and the general population. POMT will give the user the ability to scale from the human level down to the nanoscale, investigating the 3D structures and functions of the natural world. The broader impacts of this research include (1) the scalability of the software to encompass topics in other subject areas, (2) the creation of new educational methodologies that couple the use of the latest interactive technology and handheld devices with traditional lectures and assignments, and (3) the ability to facilitate a sophisticated understanding of scale - an understanding that is not only a prerequisite for the next generation of scientists to remain competitive on the world stage, but one that can aid in the establishment of a scientifically-literate populace.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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