EVALUATION OF A PORTABLE MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORY IN SIXTH-GRADE SCIENCE CLASSES

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$49,999.00
Award Year:
1992
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
17277
Agency Tracking Number:
17277
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
2540 Frontier Ave, Suite 201, Boulder, CO, 80301
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
David N. Wortman
(303) 444-4149
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
INADEQUATE STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND A LACK OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS PROBLEMS IN SCIENCE AND MATH EDUCATION. MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORIES (MBLS) WERE DEVELOPED TO GIVE STUDENTS A HANDS-ON LEARNING METHOD AND HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE. ELECTRONIC ADVANCEMENTS NOW ALLOW FOR THE RESEARCH OF INTEGRATING EXISTING, STATE-OF-THE-ART, LOW-COST, PALM-SIZED, PORTABLE DATA ACQUISITION EQUIPMENT INTO A PORTABLE MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORY (PMBL). A PMBL COULD BE USED IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT WOULD ALSO OFFER PORTABILITY, ALLOWING STUDENTS TO APPLY THE MBL APPROACH TO THE WORLD BEYOND THEIR CLASSROOM, THEREBY STIMULATING THEIR INTERESTS AND ENHANCING THEIR LEARNING. THE FEASIBILITY ASSESSMENT WILL BE BASED ON TWO EXPERIMENTS PERFORMED BY SIXTH-GRADERS: (1) A REAL-TIME, CLASSROOM EXPLORATION OF HEAT AND ENERGY, AND (2) A STUDY OF LOCAL WEATHER BY USING THE PMBL AS A WEATHER STATION. WE ANTICIPATE THAT STUDENTS WILL BENEFIT FROM THE USE OF THE PMBL AND THAT TEACHERS WILLEASILY INCORPORATE AND USE IT. CONCEIVABLY, THE PMBL APPROACH COULD BE APPLIED TO BENEFIT SCIENCE AND MATH EDUCATION AT ALL GRADE LEVELS. STUDENT EXPOSURE TO THE TECHNOLOGY AND AN IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING OF MATH AND SCIENCEWILL ENHANCE THEIR ECONOMIC WORTH AND THEREFORE THE WHOLE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC SITUATION AND COMPETITIVE POSITION WILL BENEFIT.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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