Developmentally Appropriate Technology Product for Science Assessment in Early Elementary Grades

SBIR Phase I

Project Info

Project Description

ID: 91990018C0029
TERM: 05/18 – 01/19

Technological and scientific innovations increasingly require students to develop science literacy to become informed citizens and contribute to a workforce that relies on STEM skills. Although educational standards (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards) call for greater focus on science education, improving science education has remained a challenge. Early elementary teachers often receive insufficient preparation in science-specific pedagogy, as well as the scientific disciplines they are expected to teach. Moreover, their ability to utilize data-driven instructional practices is significantly hampered by the dearth of science assessment tools designed for the developmental needs of early elementary students.

To meet this need, this SBIR project developed and tested Science Quest, an education technology product that offers schools and districts a feasible, scalable, and effective means of assessing science skills and understanding in early elementary grades (1st-3rd). In Phase I, we developed a software prototype focusing on physical science, tested its usability and quality with early elementary teachers and students, and conducted stakeholder focus groups to determine the feasibility and value of the planned full product. When fully developed, Science Quest will be the first product to offer developmentally appropriate, technology-based science assessment for students in 1st– 3rd grades.