SBIR Phase I: Webcam-Based Science Tools: Easing Access to Data Collecting Investigations

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0712280
Agency Tracking Number: 0712280
Amount: $99,924.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
304 Pleasant Street, Suite 403, Watertown, MA, 02472
DUNS: 073411196
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nathan Kimball
 (617) 923-8450
Business Contact
 Nathan Kimball
Title: MM
Phone: (617) 923-8450
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project proposes the development of new software and curriculum materials utilizing webcams to gather and share data, and test these materials to see if they can benefit groups that have not widely adopted data collection activities in the past. Webcams are ideal data gathering tools for a multitude of investigations. A webcam can track motion, measure light, color, and sound, record change over time, and act as a timer. For instance, the webcam could enable investigations of the motions of sports, the color of the sky, comparison of sound quality of musical instruments, or the progression of shadows throughout the day. The initial target audience and focus for design and testing will be middle school classrooms, as they have been slow to adopt existing data acquisition tools. The proposed project will research the needs of other learners, particularly in-service teachers taking online enhancement courses. Used in conjunction with inquiry-based curricula, the proposed system can impact thousands of science and mathematics classes, thus reaching millions of students. Improvements in the teaching of science and mathematics are key to science literacy and is mandatory in creating a technologically capable workforce. Recent studies have shown that this is a particularly strong need in the United States at this time. In-service teacher training could also be improved by the use of these tools: improvement in in-service science and mathematics teacher training is also an important national priority. The project thus has a broad impact, and furthermore it will create new software methods that could lead to enabling technologies for areas within and outside of education.

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

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