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IES Contract

Title: Blending Paper Crafts, Circuits, and Coding with the Paper:bit
Center: NCER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: Qi, Jie Awardee: Chibitronics, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (06/23/2023 – 02/23/2024) Award Amount: $250,000
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990023C0027

Purpose: Despite growing support for computer science education that appeals to a broader range of learners including girls and underrepresented students, a gap remains in participation among such populations.  Through a prior SBIR award through NSF, the company developed a physical toolkit with paper craft materials and circuitry to engage grade school aged students in learning electronics and coding. The purpose of this project is to  add new components to the toolkit to make it more feasible to deliver as a classroom intervention that would engage a broader range of students, including girls and underrepresented students.

Project Activities: In Phase I, the project team will develop new prototypes that will be integrated within an existing physical computer science toolkit, including adapters to allow for different functionalities during experiments, classroom lessons with engaging activities that align to course standards, and an educator professional development portal to support delivery. At the end of Phase I, the project team will conduct a pilot study with 20 educators and 400 students in grades 3 to 8 over a period of two weeks. Researchers will examine the usability of the prototype, whether educators believe the prototype is feasible to use when integrated with regular practice within the allotted time, and if students (including girls and from underrepresented groups), are engaged and complete the stated activity.

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