CyberMOD: A Gentle-Slope Cyberlearning Infrastructure to Support STEM Education

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$149,999.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43OD012081-01
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
R43OD012081
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
OD
Solicitation Number:
PA11-096
Small Business Information
6560 GUNPARK DR, STE D, BOULDER, CO, 80301-
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
113731017
Principal Investigator:
ALEXANDER REPENNING
(303) 530-1773
alex@agentsheets.com
Business Contact:
NADIA REPENNING
(303) 530-1773
nadia@agentsheets.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): CyberMOD: A Gentle-Slope Cyberlearning Infrastructure to Support STEM Education Abstract This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project investigates a new gentle-slope cyberlearning infrastructure that introduces students to simulation authoring via a Web-based modding approach called CyberMOD. The proposed CyberMOD cyberlearning infrastructure is a combination of a tool and STEM curriculum. The tool will integrate student products in web-based interfaces for peer interaction, feedback, and development. Other users will be able to run, annotate and rate simulations. Even more importantly they will be able to mod, i.e. modify, simulations fluently, share their mods, and eventually author their own artifacts. Thisgradual transition from information consumers to producers through engaging computational science approaches could profoundly change science education. The curriculum will provide engaging, inquiry-based CyberMOD activities for high school biology classes. The proposed research addresses the declining interest and achievements of K-12 students in STEM fields- this decline is a serious threat to the US workforce required for research, industrial competitiveness, and national security in the 21st century. Computational science, declared to be a national priority by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, is concerned with the authoring of computational models used to solve STEM problems. A fundamental problem that has challenged the introduction of computational science in K-12 education is the rigid dichotomy between using and authoring simulations. Using simulations may be simple but without enough educational depth. Authoring may be engaging but too intricate. Modding will provide a gradual shift from using to authoring simulations. The CyberMOD approach, which combines gentle-slope interfaces with computational science approaches and social media, could dramatically reduce the threshold of computational science in K-12, making it accessible for all students, including underrepresented communities. CyberMOD integrates math and science fields through technology in a motivational way, which has the potential to broaden participation in STEM education. The societal effects would include educational and motivational benefits that address the current STEM crisis and result in informed, well-educated citizens. Broader impacts of this project include the establishment of an effective computationally related career pathway that starts with K-12 computational science and leads to the exploding market of digital jobs based on hybrid careers that combine computing with other fields such as biology and physics. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Science illiteracy, often rooted in K-12 science education failing to be of interest or relevance for students, can ultimately have negative effects in the public's understanding of their own health and environment. CyberMOD is likely to engage students more and to turn them into better- informed, and consequentlyhealthier citizens, by integrating math and science fields through technology in a motivational way, which has the potential to broaden participation in STEM education and increase science literacy. The more general societal effects would include educational and motivational benefits that address the current STEM crisis and result in informed, well-educated citizens. Broader impacts of this project include the establishment of an effective computationally related career pathway that starts with K-12 computational science and leads to the exploding market of digital jobs based on hybrid careers that combine computing with other fields such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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