The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of this year's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awards. The SBIR funds are earmarked for small businesses using "cutting-edge R&D" to develop technologies to solve tough problems. Half of those contracts are game-related in some way – either they are for games or use gaming technology in a creative way.
The SBIR program at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) offers up to $1.05 million to small businesses for the R&D of commercially viable education technology products. The program holds an annual competition and awards funds in several phases: Phase I awards, up to $150,000 for 6 months to create a prototype and research to demonstrate functionality and feasibility; while Phase II awards up to $900,000 for 2 years, and leads to the full-scale development of the product. small number of Fast Track awards are also made each year for funds to cover work in both Phase I and Phase II.
The winning 2013 IES SBIR awards for games this year are:
•World Explorador, CurriculaWorks, Lynn Krause
•Readorium Rising Reader: Smart Nonfiction Comprehension Software for Students in Grades 3-5., Mtelegence, Harriet Isecke
•Transmedia: Augmented Reality Game for Essential Transfer of Science, Second Avenue Software, Victoria Van Voorhis
•Science4U: Game-Based K2 STEM Education for Teachers and Students, vKiz, Inc., Catherine Christophe
•Hall of Heroes: An Interactive Social Tutoring System to Improve and Measure Social Goals for Students in Preparation for Transition to Middle School, 3C Institute for Social Development, Melissa DeRosier (video)
•Go Games: Meeting Common Core Standards with Tablet-Enhanced Multiplayer Role Play Games, Filament Games, Beth Quinn (video)
•Empires: The First Socially-Networked Story-Based Math Game, Imagine Education, Scott Laidlaw (video)
•Teachley: MathFacts – Design and Development of Intervention Software for Promoting Single-Digit Operational Fluency, Teachley, LLC, Kara Carpenter (video)
•Numbershire II: Development of a Second Grade Game-Based Integrated Learning System to Target Whole Numbers and Operations in Base Ten and Operations in Algebraic Thinking, Thought Cycle, LLC, Marshall Gause (video)
Fast Track (Phase I & II)
•Dynamic E-Learning to Improve Postsecondary Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with High Functioning Autism, 3C Institute for Social Development, Debra Childress
•Mission US: An Interactive Solution for Middle School History Learning, Electric Funstuff, David Langendoen
•SciSkillQuest: A Standards-Based Game to Develop Students’ Scientific Skills, Academic Mindsets, and Learning Strategies in Science, Mindset Works, Inc., Lisa Sorich Blackwell
More details on these and other awards can be found here.
Source: White House