STTR Phase I: Engineering Design Instruction Software for implementing Objectives of Next (EDISON) Generation Standards in K-12

Period of Performance: 07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Parametric Studio Inc.
2718 SE 5th St
Ames , IA 50010
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Iowa State University
1138 Pearson Hall
Ames, IA 50011
Institution POC


This STTR Phase I project, the Engineering Design Instruction Software for implementing Objectives of Next generation standards, will combine Science Technology Engineering and Math (or STEM) concepts together with engineering design, simulation, 3-D printing, and gaming. When finished the project will produce a virtual workspace for K-12 engineering design-test-build projects, where elementary and middle level students can create concepts, build models, simulate and analyze, and fabricate designs for several types of projects like bridges, CO2 cars, rockets, and robots. This STTR project will offer positive exposure to STEM in the early and middle grades, when many students lose interest in these economically vital fields. Leveraging gamification, team collaboration, and 3D printing, this project provides an enriching engineering design experience that connects STEM content to real world applications. In making these real-world connections through engineering this project seeks to improve student academic performance in traditional science and math subjects. These features of this project are also designed to motivate and actively engage underrepresented students who may otherwise be reluctant to enter STEM fields. This work has the potential to promote more widespread integration of engineering in K-12 and better prepare students for future careers in STEM This SBIR Phase I project will produce a collaborative workspace software that will use realistic design tools to support upper elementary and middle level students to create concepts, build models, simulate and analyze, export files for physical prototyping (3-D printing, cutting, or machining), and integrate with testing. Through these base of operations, this project will provide what other engineering curricula cannot - powerful tools for student evaluation, instructional assistance, and performance tracking. This project will apply real engineering tools to supports common challenges that appear in engineering curricula (for example, bridges, CO2 cars, and robotics). Using the commercially available engines, user experience frameworks, and custom engineering tools, the team will create a gamified design environment with parametric geometry creation, modeling, analysis synthesis, simulation and multi-player collaboration capabilities. In Phase I, the project will be used and evaluated within several 5th-6th grade classrooms and a week long summer camp. Supporting curricular materials will be developed in collaboration with our STTR partner institution. The goal at the end of this project is the release of baseline product for commercialization that contains two different design project modules complete with software, curricular support materials, and evaluation data.