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Sonic Math Fundamentals


Objective Ed, Inc.

15355 Take Off Pl
Wellington, FL, 33414-8306

Award Year: 2021


HUBZone Owned: No

Woman Owned: No

Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No

Congressional District: 21

Tagged as:


Phase I

Seal of the Agency: HHS

Awarding Agency


Branch: NIH

Total Award Amount: $245,425

Contract Number: 1R43GM142289-01

Agency Tracking Number: R43GM142289

Solicitation Topic Code: 500

Solicitation Number: PAR20-244


Project Summary/Narrative Sonic Math Fundamentals to improve STEM skills for students with vision impairments. Research shows that children can, and should, engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)learning, even in the earliest years of life. Mathematics is often the underpinning of the other STEM disciplines because itserves as a language for science, engineering, and technology. The visual nature of mathematics results in students who are blind or have low vision (BLV) performing extraordinarily low in STEM. Even simple STEM concepts such as addition and subtraction can be challenging for BLV children because these concepts require understanding of the number line, a spatial concept. Hence, students who are visually impaired are often denied the opportunity to pursue STEM-related careers because they have not fully developed the pre-requisite skills that allow them to compete alongside their sighted peers. In turn, society is denied the benefits that a diverse workforce could bring to all facets of STEM employment. While Interactive Digital Media (IDM), such as tablet-based math game apps, are commonly and effectively used toimprove STEM for sighted children, they are visual in nature. The learning materials developed for these tools are rarelyaccessible to BLV students. ObjectiveEd’s long-term goal is to develop materials that will allow BLV students to useIDM effectively. In turn this will allow BLV students to have the option to pursue a STEM education path and career,resulting in increased diversity in the STEM fields. This SBIR project has three aims for Phase 1: Aim 1: Define requirements and develop game specification for early mathskills based on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by consulting with a variety of STEM-focused teachers, mathcurriculum experts and university researchers specializing in the education of students with visual impairments. Aim 2:Create two prototype skill-building math games for BLV students. The games will be accessible using both tactile andsonic feedback, hence its name: Sonic Math Fundamentals. Students can use the apps in both in-classroom and out-of-classroom settings. Teachers will be able to monitor each student’s progress in mastering skills remotely, using a web-based dashboard. Aim 3: Evaluate the digital game prototype for BLV students’ engagement and increased math skills.Evaluation will involve collecting data through pre- and post-game assessments using a CCSS toolkit, game-playanalytics including correct vs. incorrect scores, and structured interviews of teachers and students. Study Sample: We will recruit 15 BLV students enrolled pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classes. According to teacherreport, the students will not have in mastered shape identification or the number line concept. In our recruitment we willseek to recruit students from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds balancing for gender and level of visual impairment. Sonic Math Fundamentals aligns with an education objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement, as it addressesstudent STEM career choice starting with pre-kindergarten and the research objective, as it develops new educationproducts that will advance STEM-based gaming for an underserved student population.Project Narrative Students who are blind or have low vision (BLV) perform poorly in math, the underpinning of STEM, due to the visual nature of many math concepts, including basic concepts like the number line. This Phase I project will determine the feasibility of learning these concepts through tablet-based math games that are accessible through sonic feedback from finger movements, which may be new for the BLV student, along with tactile raised-dot feedback from finger movements, which is how a BLV student reads braille. Mastering visual concepts through non-visual methods will enable BLV students to pursue a STEM education path and career, resulting in increased diversity in the STEM fields.

Award Schedule

  1. 2020
    Solicitation Year

  2. 2021
    Award Year

  3. June 1, 2021
    Award Start Date

  4. May 31, 2022
    Award End Date

Principal Investigator

Phone: N/A

Business Contact

Phone: (786) 200-1191

Research Institution

Name: N/A