SBIR Phase I: Martha Madison's Marvelous Machines

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Second Avenue
190 Office Park Way, Pittsford, NY, 14534-3626
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Victoria VanVoorhis
(585) 419-6530
Business Contact:
Victoria VanVoorhis
(585) 419-6530
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to construct the first in a series of science collaborative multiplatform learning games called Martha Madison?s Marvelous Machines. This game will be designed to engage a target audience of middle school girls in virtual collaborative physics projects to improve understanding of the nature of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and careers. The specific content of this game will enable students to develop understanding of introductory Physics and Engineering aligned with Common Core standards. There will be options for single player play and multi-player play, depending on the platform(s) on which the game is released. In the multi-player option, there will be puzzles which can only be solved through collaboration with other users (via network play). Second Avenue Software (SAS) anticipates the release of Common Core Standards for Science and Martha Madison will be developed according to the Common Core Standards in order to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. In the event that Common Core Standards for Science are not in draft form at the time of the award, SAS will draw on its extensive experience correlating with state standards to make a physics and engineering game that is engaging, educative and robust. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project lies in SAS?s contribution to meeting the need of improving physics and engineering education by providing a game-based application which as the potential to increase interest in STEM careers and learning outcomes in STEM disciplines. Based on a review of the literature regarding womens? participation in STEM education, STEM careers and learning modalities for women and girls, this requires development of materials specifically designed to meet their educational needs and interests. Current practice in commercial games reflects this need. Games are frequently designed in two versions: one for boys and one for girls, reflecting each gender?s distinct patterns of play. Martha Madison will be designed to appeal to all genders without alienating boys or girls, while paying special attention to engaging girls in STEM learning. Martha Madison will be created using the Unity 3D platform which allows for publishing to a diverse array of applications including tablets, computers, consoles (all of which now include digital delivery), and mobile devices. With so many possible applications, Martha Madison has tremendous commercial potential.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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