Entrepreneurial Lead: [Redacted] is a doctoral student in the Mathematics department at New Mexico State University. She works with the Math Snacks project as an outreach specialist and believes in the product. She welcomes additional training in business and is in a prime position to explore the viability of commercialization for the products we have created. Her background as a mathematician, teacher, and professional development specialist provide her the necessary skillsets to lead this venture.
Principal Investigator: Dr. [Redacted] has 20 years’ experience in writing, administering, and evaluating grants. She currently works as the project director for the Math Snacks Grant (0918794), the focus of this application. She has served as a math teacher, principal, professional development specialist, and as a researcher in math education. She graduated from the Equity in Mathematics Education Leadership Institute (EMELI 7) and was named as a 2012 CADRE Fellow. Dr. [Redacted], director of our development team and Learning Games Lab, will assist as Co-PI.
Mentor: Led by Dr. [Redacted], The Arrowhead Research Park assists faculty and alumni from New Mexico State University to transfer research innovations to the general public. They provide mentoring, contacts, and legal advice to those interested in starting a business in support of the economic development of our border region.
Relevant current/previous NSF awards
We have had many successful National Science Foundation Awards granted to our Institute for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Academy (IEMSE). The Gadsden Mathematics Initiative (1999) continues to show sustainable effects in district increases in math achievement for Latinos and English Language Learners. Current and recent grants include: Scaling Up Mathematics Achievement, Mathematically-Connected Communities Leadership Institute for Teachers (MSP grant), a science grant for Young Investigators, a GK-12 grant with Computer Science, and the Math Snacks grant which is the focus of our interest in the current I-Corps Teams competition.
Brief description of the potential commercial impact
Math Snacks games are designed to address gaps in conceptual mathematics understanding through innovative media. The quality of the Math Snacks products and the need to address these conceptual gaps in middle level mathematics makes Math Snacks a viable product for commercialization. Math Snacks also provides on-line professional development.
Brief Description of the current commercialization plan
We have focused on distribution-based promotions: seeking additional users, rather than prioritizing profits. The iPad and iOs versions are on the Apple iTunes store, are currently being distributed for free, and the development team has partnered with companies such as Kongregate. BrainPop's GameUp portal has selected two Math Snacks games for distribution to their education community. Edmodo, another education software portal, NCTM, and Battelle have also shown interest. The goal is to keep the products free of charge for the end users. We hope to further explore the commercial potential in offering textbook and ‘techbook’ companies the opportunity to connect with the current Math Snacks products or other means of monetizing these popular products.