Skip to main content

Design and Pitch Competition Materials Created by Assistant Professors Erin Krupa and Robin Anderson Win Best of STEM Award

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 winner of 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 selected as the first-place winner in the Educator’s Pick for the Social Impact Award: Developing Citizen Scientists category.

“We are working really hard to make math materials that are engaging and fun for kids so this award gives us external recognition that the work we are doing is meaningful and important,” said Krupa, who is the project’s principal investigator. “Hopefully, as a result of this award, more students and teachers will be able to find and access our Design & Pitch Challenges in STEM.”

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.