Campus News

Research team receives grant to develop software

A team of UGA researchers has been awarded a $500,000 small business grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop interactive educational software aimed at teaching high school students how the five senses work in the context of the brain and how neurons work.

IS3D LLC, a partnership founded in 2010 by eight UGA faculty and staff members, will develop the software with input from high school teachers and students in Atlanta and northeast Georgia. The grant is based on intellectual property developed at UGA, which is being further developed by IS3D.

IS3D will design a game based on the five senses, along with a series of interactive case studies that will allow students to explore how neurons work. The software will be tested in classrooms to gauge its effectiveness in helping students learn and whether it improves the students’ engagement in science curriculum.

“When we started making these learning tools about three years ago, our goal was to design products that would entice students to learn. During the next 18 months, we will work directly with students and teachers as we design and refine this new game and accompanying interactive case studies,” said Tom Robertson, who is CEO of IS3D and an associate professor of physiology and large animal medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to Robertson, the IS3D LLC board members include Jim Moore, professor of large animal medicine; Scott Brown, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor and head of the departments of small animal medicine and surgery and physiology and pharmacology; Cynthia Ward, an internist from the department of small animal medicine and surgery; and instructional designer Flint Buchanan, all from the College of Veterinary Medicine. The other partners are Steve Oliver, College of Education; Casey O’Donnell, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Mike Hussey, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.