Discovery Tools for Science Education Content

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$377K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

David Wojick
391 Flickertail Lane
Star Tannery, VA 22654
Principal Investigator

Abstract

There is no reasonable way for teachers, parents or students to search on the Web for science content, especially Department of Energy research that is suited for a specific grade level or degree of difficulty. There are thousands of small collections scattered through the Web. The only way to search them is one by one, which is too difficult. This project will develop a grade level stratification system for science content, based on assigning grade level or degree of difficulty to every science concept normally taught in science education. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of a systematic method for generating concept based grade level stratification of technical content. A stratification was produced for the topic of electricity and magnetism. Computer searches using this stratification were successful in sorting content by grade level. The Phase II project will produce a complete grade level stratification for science education. The method used for the topic of electricity will be extended to all the other topics normally taught, about 30 in all. The computer search algorithm will be refined. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: This project has the potential to dramatically improve Web-based science education. Applications include a new search engine and grade specific content development