SBIR Phase I: Game-enhanced Interactive Physical Science

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1046229
Agency Tracking Number: 1046229
Amount: $149,182.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2010 Eastwood Drive, Ste. 104, Madison, WI, 53704-5387
DUNS: 801152211
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Daniel White
 (608) 251-0477
Business Contact
 Daniel White
Title: MSEd
Phone: (608) 251-0477
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will enhance learning gains among historically underachieving middle school students via a Physical Science game that aligns with a standards-based print curriculum and utilizes principles from the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. Eleven million students, including those with reading deficiencies, disabilities, and English Language Learners, are struggling to make adequate progress toward national science standards. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress report indicated that 73% of eighth grade students with disabilities and 85% of English language learners performed at the ?below basic? level in science, compared to 38% of their peers. Traditional curricular materials are largely text-based; built on complex vocabulary and abstract theoretical concepts that are largely inaccessible to students with special needs. Game-enhanced Interactive Physical Science (GIPS) addresses this problem. The project?s long-range purpose is to develop a new generation of innovative, research-based video games that are specifically designed to enhance science learning and assessment outcomes among students who struggle with traditional print curricular materials. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop innovative learning technology that responds to the growing needs of a large community of underserved and disadvantaged American students. The project does this by recognizing and addressing the need for strategically-placed and research-based computer games that are also accessible, usable, affordable, engaging, and effective. The educational video game market is in its infancy, and represents a high-risk, high-reward opportunity. The potential market of 22.9 million parents and teachers is significant, but the small number of existing commercial games have largely failed due to high technical requirements, superficial learning outcomes, or both. In contrast, GIPS will be easy to access, simple to use, and cost-effective. It will have low technical requirements and be playable online via a web browser, making it ideal for use in public schools and homes across the country. GIPS will be designed first and foremost to teach specific learning objectives that reflect critical science concepts. By targeting middle school, GIPS will engage students at a time when they typically withdraw in science. Ultimately, GIPS is the first step toward the creation of a complete line of middle school science games that directly align with national science benchmarks. Lessons learned from this Phase I award will be applied during Phase II, when a yearlong physics curriculum will be developed and commercialized.

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

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