You are here

Building a mathematical problem-solving environment to prepare K-5 students for success in STEM and health careers.

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R44GM146483-01
Agency Tracking Number: R44GM146483
Amount: $248,542.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 500
Solicitation Number: PAR20-244
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-04-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-10-14
Small Business Information
Staten Island, NY 10301-4125
United States
DUNS: 078363101
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (415) 516-0184
Business Contact
Phone: (347) 552-1272
Research Institution

Project Summary/AbstractThere is an enormous need for qualified people to pursue careers in STEM (Noonan,
2017). However, the lack of a strong foundation in mathematics means students are less likely
to pursue STEM majors and careers (Chen, 2013; Griffith, 2010; Huang, Taddese, and Walter, E,
2000; Kokkelenberg and Sinha, 2010; Lowell et. al., 2009; Seo, Shen and Alfaro, 2019). Students
from low-income families, women, and underrepresented minorities are also less likely to major
in STEM (Bettinger, 2010; Griffith, 2010; Hill, Corbett and Rose, 2010; Kokkelenberg and Sinha,
2010). Improving math learning in the elementary grades is important to ensure children have
the essential foundational skills and strong self-efficacy beliefs to be able to succeed with later
mathematics and pursue careers in STEM. With this Fast-Track grant, we propose to build a
mathematical problem-solving environment, Teachley Problem Solving (TPS), to transform the
way elementary students learn to solve math problems. TPS will include a set of digital tools to
help students understand and classify the underlying structure of problems, use clear visuals to
model the mathematics of the problems, and construct strong mathematical arguments. The
environment will also integrate into ASSISTments, a math curriculum platform built by The
ASSISTments Foundation and Wooster Polytechnic Institute .Outcomes. The proposal will encourage two main outcomes, namely: 1) improved
student math achievement and 2) increased math self-efficacy. A key research aim is to
determine whether supporting elementary students with digital problem-solving tools helps them
develop stronger problem-solving skills as compared to typical instruction. We also anticipate
that using the engaging tools with real-time feedback will also bolster students’ motivation and
self-efficacy in mathematics.Improving students’ academic outcomes and math self-efficacy during elementary school
will promote later success in high school mathematics. Since the number of advanced math
classes students take is correlated with likelihood to complete a STEM degree, (Chen, 2013) a
distal outcome of this proposal is increasing the number of students pursuing careers in STEM.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government