Nemesis-Blackfeather: A Hybrid Graphic Novel/Video Game Using Robotics to Support Computer Science Education for Middle School Students

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911QX-13-C-0048
Agency Tracking Number: JD131-004-013
Amount: $149,882.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: 004
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
Triad Interactive Media, Inc.
1601 Guilford College Road, Jamestown, NC, -
DUNS: 788284508
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Brown
 Principal Investigator
 (336) 908-5884
 robert@triadinteractivemedia.com
Business Contact
 Scott Brewster
Title: Partner
Phone: (336) 686-2444
Email: scott@triadinteractivemedia.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Although computer science is a growing field with lucrative salaries, few U.S. students major in the discipline, especially females. This project team is developing a prototype of a hybrid graphic novel/video game using robotics to support computer science education to middle school students. Specifically, the game will provide students with skills in Java programming, and they will be provided with a robotics kit with which they must construct a robot and program it to perform a series of activities within the game's narrative. The video game and narrative are intended to engage students'interest, the robotics activities apply programming to general problem solving and real engineering tasks, and the combination of game, narrative, and application of learning promotes transfer and retention of learning. Intended as a beyond-school activity, the program will be used by Robotics Clubs across the country to achieve the dual goals of teaching computer programming and building/manipulating robots. All materials will be browser-based, capable of being accessed via Windows, Mac, or mobile device. Pilot research in Phase I will seek to demonstrate that the concept is feasible and that students are engaged by the prototype.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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