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Aztech: Educational software for rural schools serving English language learners

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2015-33610-23462
Agency Tracking Number: 2015-00589
Amount: $99,672.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-04-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2111 7TH ST #8
Santa Monica, CA 90405-0000
United States
DUNS: 801258315
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 AnnMaria De Mars
 (310) 717-9089
Business Contact
 AnnMaria De Mars
Title: President
Phone: (310) 717-9089
Research Institution

Aztech Games addresses a key national priority, "Development of technologies and services that specifically address the needs of youth and the low-income sector of the rural population" through software designed to raise the mathematics achievement of English language learners in rural communities. As this subgroup continues to rise as a proportion of the population, addressing the educational needs of rural ELL students will be an increasingly important factor in rural communities, both economically and socially.We use players' responses in a computer game format to test current mathematics performance and, within the context of a virtual world, serve up problems at the appropriate level of difficulty. Players who answer incorrectly are required to select an educational resource to study to get back in the game. The computerized format enables collection of every aspect of player instruction, from how many minutes they played the game, type of educational resource chosen and improvements in mathematics knowledge. In addition to the in-game items, a measure aligned with Common Core mathematics standards is being developed to use as a pre- and post-test to document effectiveness of the game in increasing mathematics performance.Our target market is rural schools with ELL students, whose mathematics achievement is among the lowest of all racial and ethnic groups. Raising the performance of these students has great promise for changing the trajectory of their lives, from school failure leading to high school drop out, to academic success leading to high school graduation and post-secondary education. Raising students' achievement is not only of great personal benefit to the students but the nation as a whole, given the decreases in poverty, crime and health problems associated with greater education.

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

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