SBIR Phase I: Geology Explorer uses in Earth Science

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0339377
Agency Tracking Number: 0339377
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
WoWiWe Instruction Co.
P.O. Box 5351, Fargo, ND, 58102
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Opgrande
 (651) 269-5335
Business Contact
 John Opgrande
Title: Director of R&D
Phone: () -
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will develop an innovative role-based software for science education. Using a schema called "scenario-based assessment" the company has gathered evidence in controlled studies that this software is effective in helping students to learn and solve science problems. This project will study the feasibility of using enhanced versions of this software to improve K-12 science education by: a) freely disseminating the software to a range of public and private schools in North Dakota; b) creating and providing an array of support documentation to accompany the software: user manual, teacher guide and suggested lesson plans; c) providing online "help desk" technical support for the period of the grant; d) coordinating assessment studies and lesson narratives conducted on the company's behalf by teachers at the schools. This research will address two questions: 1) what is the level and type of support necessary to enhance adoption rates; and 2) what are the measurable effects on K-12 student learning that arise from using this software in school. The commercial application of this research will be a self-sustaining educational media company that takes intellectual property created by the NDSU research team and develops and expands it to produce commercially viable role-based educational simulation environments. This research is aimed at developing and distributing new models of science education, and providing science teachers with new methods and materials for the classroom, thus promoting teaching and learning. Its questions in Phase I will inform the handling of the feedback loop from teachers to developers, thus enhancing the infrastructure for research and education partnerships. These approaches have the potential to change the way science is taught in the schools. As the goal of science instruction is to help foster a scientifically literate public, the goal of this project is to help foster better science education.numerical methods and corresponding computational tools for modeling the

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