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Design and Pitch Competition Materials Created by Assistant Professors Erin Krupa and Robin Anderson Selected as Finalist for Best of STEM Awards

A logo for the Design and Pitch Competition hosted by Erin Krupa and Jere COnfrey

Educational materials created by Erin Krupa and Robin Anderson, assistant professors of mathematics education in NC State’s College of Education, have been selected as a finalist for the International Society for Technology in Education’s Best of STEM Awards. 

The materials were created as part of the Design and Pitch Challenges in STEM: Merging Entrepreneurship and Mathematics Learning” project, which is funded by a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The project materials were nominated as an Educator’s Pick for the Social Impact Award: Developing Citizen Scientists. Award winners will be announced July 21. 

“It is always nice to have some external recognition of our work, and I am hopeful that being a finalist for this award will help our materials reach more teachers and students,” said Krupa, who is the project’s principal investigator. “We are also really proud that this award is the Social Impact Award because we try to make materials that are culturally relevant and where the solutions students create have a positive social impact.” 

Through the “Design and Pitch Challenges in STEM” project, Krupa and co-principal investigator Anderson are developing nine challenges rooted in the high school mathematics curriculum that encourage students to build and refine prototype STEM products, design business plans to demonstrate product viability and pitch their products to a panel of judges. 

The project is based upon work from Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education Jere Confrey, who developed the Design and Pitch Framework for middle school students using a National Science Foundation grant awarded in 2018. 

Krupa said the team for the current project has created four challenges aligned to high school math content. These include:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, which is designed to challenge students to create a new product out of waste materials sent to a dump
  • Negate Noise, which is designed to encourage students to harness the power of active noise canceling technology to reduce noise pollution
  • Routes Reimagined, which is designed to have students create new criteria for navigating the world around them
  • Gaming for Change, which is designed to allow students to create a projectile motion video game to improve connectedness and well-being. 

Krupa said the project team is currently recruiting students and teachers to implement these four challenges over the summer and during the upcoming school year. 
As part of the project, Design and Pitch Camps will be held for middle and high school students at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in August, and Design and Pitch competitions will be offered for students in the 2022-23 school year.