A recipient of funds from the U.S. Department of Education, Massachusetts-based firm Fluidity Software, Inc., won the top prize for the “Most Innovative Technology Product” and was the runner-up for “Most Likely to Succeed” at the Innovation Incubator competition on Nov. 29 in New York City. The Innovation Incubator event was hosted by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) through its Ed-Tech Business Forum. FluidMath won the award among a group of 29 applicants and 11 finalists.
Fluidity’s product, FluidMath, was funded in part by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The purpose of the SBIR Program is to stimulate technological innovation; increase small business participation in federal research and development; foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation; and increase private sector commercialization of technology derived from federal research and development.
The FluidMath software and its accompanying Web-based Online Professional Development (OPD) modules enable teachers and students to create, solve, graph and animate math and physics problems, all in their own handwriting on digital-ink enabled devices such as tablet PCs and interactive whiteboards. For teachers, it is designed to assist in creating dynamic instructional materials for the classroom and providing engaging learning experiences. For students, it is designed to help explore and understand concepts in mathematics and science. Click here for a video demonstration of FluidMath.
In addition to FluidMath, a second IES SBIR funded product was a finalist in the Innovation Incubator competition. Minnesota-based firm Seward, Inc.’s First 4000 Words (4KW), funded by IES in 2008, is an interactive web-based program used to teach the 4,000 most frequently used English words to English Language Learners and struggling readers in grades 1 through 4. This research-based and field-tested program is designed to help students develop the necessary reading skills to succeed in school. Click here for a video demonstration of the 4KW.
(A reminder from ED’s lawyers: The Department has provided the information and links in this blog post as a convenience to educators, parents and students. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness or effectiveness of these resources. The inclusion of particular resources is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services.)
For information on the 2012 Small Business Innovation Research program solicitations, and for video demos of more than 20 products supported by this program, click here.
Edward Metz is a Program Manager at ED’s Institute of Education Sciences