This project is designed to further develop the Lewis Dots iOS app, expanding its features. There is an educational need for improved sharing and collaboration tools in the classroom and the team is working to develop a prototype to test additional features of their app that harness collaborative learning, instant metadata feedback, and gamified learning. The Lewis Dots invention provides user with a touch-screen experience of chemistry. Future development of this technology plans to enable a more visual tool for communicating chemistry concepts, allowing teachers to communicate with students, but also students to communicate with teachers and amongst each other. The project team's approach considers learning in the classroom as a user experience from both the teacher and student perspectives.

There are few ubiquitous interactive methods to communicate chemistry amongst K-12 or higher-education students. Furthermore, the influx of gadgets and media into students' lives consistently bombard the focus and engagement of students toward subject material. If this project is successful, the team hopes that the Lewis Dots app will enhance the learning of chemistry amongst students by offering a new platform for communication. With the education technology market experiencing a glut of existing solutions for independent study and assessment/testing, this project may prove to be a disruptive innovation in the education technology market, allowing students to better learn from teachers and from each other.

Project Report

The primary goal of the NSF I-Corps project, entitled Lewis Dots, was to thoroughly evaluate the commercial viability of our technology – an educational app having a focus on chemistry. The project led to the successful completion of the seven-week mentorship course provided by the NSF, defined by the delivery of a well-received final presentation to the teaching panel announcing a "go" decision for further pursuit. An additional major outcome from this activity was the accumulation of customer discovery data in the realm of education technology. We initiated an educational technology company InschoolApps and developed LabLessons. In addition to the development of a company by the PI and EL, the broad impacts are that we formed a strong partnership with Brooklyn Technical High School enabling us to test our newly developed LabLesson and iterate on the design from the feedback from the students and teachers. As part of this, NYU Poly undergraduate students will continue to be involved in outreach and inspiring high school students in STEM. As BTHS is predominantly comprised of students from underrepresented group with a high population f first generation students, our effort will reach this important population. The ultimate goal is to encourage K-12 students in STEM subjects and make it easier for teachers to engage with them in chemistry. The work has been a multi-disciplinary effort that interfaces the company InSchoolApps with academia and secondary schools.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Rathindra DasGupta
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New York University
New York
United States
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