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IES Contract

Title: Design Environment for Educator-Student Collaboration Allowing Real-Time Engineering-centric, STEM (DESCARTES) Exploration in Middle Grades
Center: NCER Year: 2016
Principal Investigator: Whitmer, Christopher Awardee: Parametric Studios, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 6 months (5/1/2016-10/31/2016) Award Amount: $149,740
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: EDIES16C0010

This project team will develop and test a prototype of Descartes, an online game and simulation platform for design-to-build engineering projects for students in grades 4 to 7. The prototype will include a virtual workspace for students to create and test models. Students will apply learning to design a boat using engineering principles, and the prototype will incorporate a 3D printer to create a physical representation of a simulated model. In a pilot study with three grade 5 or 6 classrooms, the researchers will examine whether the prototype functions as planned, whether teachers believe the prototype can be implemented in a classroom setting, and whether students are engaged while using the prototype.