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SBIR Phase I: Learning from nature - Marine educational games that assess scientific knowledge transfer through game play

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1549231
Agency Tracking Number: 1549231
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-06-30
Small Business Information
3203 Beverley Road
Brooklyn, NY 11226
United States
DUNS: 079621048
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Jessica Hendrix
 (917) 848-8036
Business Contact
 Jessica Hendrix
Phone: (917) 848-8036
Research Institution

This SBIR Phase 1 project will create an engaging online learning game using venomous marine snails as a conduit to explore scientific issues in nature through creative problem solving. The USA is currently ranked 52nd in the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This is detrimental intellectually and economically to the future of American society. Recent studies have indicated it is not what we teach, but how we teach that enhances student-learning abilities, particularly as it pertains to STEM. A strong case is being made for using learning games to convey educational content. This project is driven by the research objectives to understand how children learn specific science content and why certain game elements are better suited to convey scientific material. The outcome of this project will be a propriety digital learning game including a unique parent/player assessment tool used to measure novel STEM content during game playing and extending opportunities for learners to engage in ongoing scientific research ("citizen science"). Commercialization of the products created in this project will transform scientific discoveries in predatory marine snail research for social and economic benefit to meet the NSF's mission of supporting education initiatives that improve the lives of U.S. Citizens, and generate income for tax revenue and jobs via the employment of software designers, educators and scientists. This project will build proprietary assessment tools into online games that continuously engage users in the scientific process of discovery and application of science learning using a novel player/parent data aggregator dashboard. Our inventive two-sided player/parent dashboard will allow players to measure their progress and attain unique, educational rewards such as unlocking new game components, and identifying local citizen science projects to enhance their STEM learning. The goal of this project is to disrupt the status quo of STEM learning and address STEM learning market needs by combining gameplay, content learning, and assessment tools to develop high-quality, creative, science learning games. A three-component Play-Break-Fix strategy will be used to design and develop all games: 1. Iterative prototyping to generate novel ideas and integrate any existing content. 2. Repetitive evaluation to test the usability of demos and the initial feasibility of the learning games created and parent/player dashboard concept. 3. Commercialization testing of the products from this project that are the best of the build and analyze model. The parent/player assessment dashboard developed in this project will provide a template for furthering parental engagement with children's learning to significantly improve STEM knowledge and will engage players in citizen science experiences that will strengthen their connection to STEM learning.

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

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