Explore Interactive, an EdTech company that develops STEM-focused games for children, has recently announced that it has received $1 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the National Science Foundation.
The West Lafayette-based startup has also been awarded $75,000 from Elevate Ventures through the state of Indiana’s SBIR/STTR Phase II Matching Program.
In addition to the funding, Explore Interactive has also announced a partnership with Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting to bring its STEM-based educational content to even more students. As part of the partnership, the company said, it will create STEM-based content featuring Reggy, the museum’s mascot, and expand to include some of the most popular mascots in the country.
Launched in 2017, Explore Interactive uses augmented reality to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to elementary students. The company’s first product in the planned MindLabs series allows students to collaborate on engineering and circuit design challenges.
Explore Interactive democratizes access to and improves educational outcomes in STEM, through immersive, educational games anywhere and anytime. It brings inquiry-based learning to the world of augmented reality through educational games.
Commenting on the funding and partnership, Amanda Thompson, CEO of Explore Interactive, said,
"This funding will allow us to both build compelling content and bring augmented reality together with the engineering design process for the first time for young students. We are also excited to partner with the Mascot Hall of Fame to reach a wider audience through combining our interactive AR platform with the museum’s engaging approach to STEM through sports and entertainment."
Explore said the funding and partnership will allow the company to continue its mission of making STEM learning fun and engaging for young students. The partnership will also help expand the reach of its content, exposing more students to STEM subjects, it added.
Karen Anaszewicz, Executive Director of Mascot Hall of Fame, said,
"We are thrilled to embark on this project which we see as a way to reach a broad and diverse group of students while fulfilling our mission to spark creativity, promote fun and engage in our communities throughout the world with our model of combining science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) educational principles and sport mascot entertainment."
Explore Interactive is supported by America’s Seed Fund SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. The company is based at Purdue University’s Research Park.
Image Src: Explore Interactive