SCICAST Stimulating Community Involvement by Cultivating Screencast Technologies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2015-33610-23434
Agency Tracking Number: 2015-00595
Amount: $99,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-05-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
122 PICKENS RD, Kingsport, TN, 37663-0000
DUNS: 078678806
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott Stuckey
 Principal Investigator
 (828) 216-4434
 scott@inquirytechnologies.com
Business Contact
 Scott Stuckey
Title: CTO
Phone: (828) 216-4434
Email: scott@inquirytechnologies.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Achievement levels of U.S. K-12 students continue to decline compared with those of students in many foreign countries - especially in math and science. Based on current U.S. standards alone, two-thirds of our 8th grade students lack proficiency in core disciplines related to science, math, and reading. This same data for many of our resource-limited rural school districts is even more troubling. With a growing number of states rapidly adopting more-rigorous, nationally benchmarked K-12 curriculum standards, it is critical to provide our rural school districts with innovative tools that can significantly increase student understanding and achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects at a cost they can afford. Highly-skilled jobs will see the fastest rate of growth across the county in the next ten years, and rural areas traditionally produce far fewer scientists, engineers, and executives compared to metropolitan regions. Knowledge based on STEM subjects is also critical in traditional rural occupations, as the world continues to become more technical in all areas. In addition, rural districts are often the hardest hit by the national shortage of science and math teachers because of location, low pay, and relative lack of resources.Inquiry Technologies, LLC plans to test and measure the effectiveness on STEM learning among rural students for an existing digital capture toolset (InquiryCast™), and develop a new teacher module that utilizes digital capture technology to provide feedback to students. Our preliminary research has shown that student engagement with our technology helps focus attention and provides a means to think out loud about complexities associated with computer-based activities which helps develop inquiry practices, promotes self-reflection, encourages critical thinking, and heightens motivation. It is our contention that enabling teachers with similar tools will improve the quality of feedback provided to students and ultimately lead to even higher gains in learning. We will also introduce Digital Progress Reports in an attempt to stimulate interest in STEM and encourage greater participation from rural parents and guardians without regard to connectivity or availability of computer equipment in the home. Anticipated Phase I results will set the stage for follow-on Phase II SBIR development and prototype demonstration of additional enhancements that will provide even more functionality to all parties involved in the education of rural youth. The envisioned software platform will allow rural school districts to expand and strengthen its critical STEM offerings by providing next-generation problem-solving and inquiry-based learning opportunities with superior instructional feedback and greater collaboration and to do so in a way that will lead to better career and educational opportunities, reduce levels of outmigration, and help stimulate the rural economy.

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

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