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Teaching Human Health and Water Stewardship using Extended Reality

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R44GM139577-01
Agency Tracking Number: R44GM139577
Amount: $271,858.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 500
Solicitation Number: PA19-272
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-14
Small Business Information
3203 BEVERLEY ROAD
Brooklyn, NY 11226-5519
United States
DUNS: 079621048
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 JESSICA HENDRIX
 (917) 848-8036
 jessica@killersnails.com
Business Contact
 JESSICA HENDRIX
Phone: (917) 848-8036
Email: jessica@killersnails.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

PROJECT ABSTRACTIt has been reported by the U.S. Environmental Agency that 55% percent of the streams and rivers in the
nation are in “poor” condition, posing health risks to fish, other wildlife and humans. As we become more aware
of the damage done to our waterways via pollution, overuse and other harmful methods from the industrial
revolution (Venter et al., 2016), teaching young students about the importance of water stewardship early is key to
informing the way society interacts with and takes care of our water resources. Science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) lessons and activities excite young learners and build their confidence and self-efficacy
(DeJarnette 2018). This SBIR FastTrack award will enable Killer Snails, LLC to develop an immersive learning
experience, WaterWays, which leverages the latest in Extended Reality (XR) technology, paired with
authentic assessments, to address the effects of water contaminants on human health, communicate the
potential human health risks from exposure to water contaminants, improve environmental health literacy
of fresh and saltwater sources, and support citizen science endeavors for children in grades 3-5. The
WaterWays experience will align to the Next Generation Science Standards and include qualitative and
quantitative assessment mechanisms that provide evidence of learning and teacher feedback.Killer Snails will collaborate with Mount Sinaiandapos;s Transdisciplinary Center for Early Environmental
Exposures, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and New York Cityandapos;s Hudson River Park to create WaterWays
featuring the following three integrated components: 1) Augmented reality (AR) games that include
manipulatable environmental water pollutants, ways to measure for damage to the salt/freshwater biome, the
impact on human health, and potential treatments. 2) A digital science journal that extends learning by reflecting
student AR interactions, provides interactive tools to manipulate, model and construct water biomes and potential
pollutants, and features citizen science challenges applicable to local environments. 3) An educator support
dashboard that enables teachers to monitor in real-time AR student manipulations, responses in student digital
science journals, and access scaffolding questions. Upon completion, WaterWays will be marketed as a grade 3-5
curriculum supplement to elementary schools, informal learning centers such as museums, and to families,
particularly the home school market.The technical innovations involved in this project include: 1) The creation of animated graphics
depicting environmental pollutants and ways damage to fresh and marine biomes impact human health. 2) Our
patent-pending educator assessment dashboard that integrates AR activity with a WaterWays content-specific
interactive digital media website, enabling teachers to monitor and assess real-time student engagement as
students engage with WaterWays.PROJECT NARRATIVE
55% percent of the streams and rivers in the nation are in “poor” condition, posing health risks to fish,
other wildlife and humans (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2013). This SBIR FastTrack award
will enable Killer Snails, LLC to develop and commercialize a science curriculum supplement, Water
Ways, that pairs the latest in Extended Reality (XR) technology with authentic assessments to address the
effects of water contaminants on human health, communicate the potential human health risks from
exposure to water contaminants, improve environmental health science literacy of water biomes, and
support citizen science endeavors for children in grades 3-5. The Water Ways experience will be aligned
to the Next Generation Science Standards and include qualitative and quantitative assessment
mechanisms that provide evidence of learning and feedback to guide teacher instruction.

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

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