America’s Seed Fund Powered by NSF Provides Funding for R&D; Helps small businesses move innovations out of the lab and into the market

Ames, Iowa (October 17,2018)  – Parametric Studio Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $738,000 to commercialize innovative technology by conducting research and development (R&D) work on engineering-centric and project-based STEM games, software, kits and curricula for middle and high school math, science, and integrated STEM classrooms.  A short demonstration video of this product may be found at: https://youtu.be/Ay6bFPqeuyc

Parametric Studio Inc. is combining a standards-aligned curriculum, with real engineering design tools, approachable interfaces, gaming, 3-D printing, augmented reality, and hands on prototyping to create novel STEM solutions for the classroom, clubs, camps, or for home.  The software being developed is called EDISON and it consists of a collaborative game environment where students work together in teams to formulate problems, design solutions, apply math and science concepts to model behavior, simulate and improve their designs, and finally, export their team designs for real world creation either on 3-D printer, or by several other means.

The comprehensive curricula, and challenges, run on most existing IT infrastructures in schools (Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, and iOS), and are directly tied to numerous science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) standards in place in all 50 states, and the software environment assists teachers in quantitatively and qualitatively understanding how students are mastering these skills and concepts. Students who express interest in STEM by eighth grade are up to three times more likely to ultimately pursue STEM degrees later in life. EDISON is designed to foster student engagement and inquiry in STEM in middle school, by leveraging gamification, team collaboration, and 3D printing, and augmented reality. In doing this, Parametric Studio Inc. hopes to improve student STEM outcomes, and interest more students in STEM careers in their formative years.

“STEM education, skills, and careers are absolutely critical to the future of our economy, our country, and our world,” CTO, Parametric Studio Inc. Dr. Christopher Whitmer said. “Everyone will need some level understanding and proficiency in STEM. The good thing is every child is a natural scientist, mathematician, or engineer waiting to be unleashed to solve problems.  Everyone is a problem solver so engineering really should be for everyone.  All that’s needed are new solutions, frameworks, and quality tools that engage, motivate, and educate all kinds of kids and do so in a way that collaborative, hands-on, and not difficult for teachers to implement.  We at Parametric Studio feel that EDISON is that solution, and it can really make a difference in STEM education.”

Small businesses can receive up to $1.5 million in funding from NSF. Companies must first have received a Phase I award (up to $225,000) to become eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000) to further develop and commercialize the technology. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process and only the strongest candidates <7% of hundreds of small businesses are selected.

Parametric Studio Inc. is actively looking for partner schools and districts across the country interested in testing and evaluating DESCARTES for implementation in their Math and Science curricula.  Teachers, schools, or districts interested in doing so or anyone wishing additional information about the project and product may contact Parametric Studio at info@parametricstudioinc.com, or visit www.parametricstudioinc.com.

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