RJ Lee Group’s Education Group Awarded NSF Phase 1 SBIR Grant


RJ Lee Group has been awarded another Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to demonstrate the feasibility of developing an innovative virtual analysis environment to educate, train and test post-secondary students and professionals in the use of microscopic analysis of materials in the areas of geology, forensic trace evidence, asbestos and concrete petrography. The key innovative foundation of the program will be the development of an advanced polarized light microscope (PLM) simulator. RJ Lee Group has been awarded another Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to demonstrate the feasibility of developing an innovative virtual analysis environment to educate, train and test post-secondary students and professionals in the use of microscopic analysis of materials in the areas of geology, forensic trace evidence, asbestos and concrete petrography. The key innovative foundation of the program will be the development of an advanced polarized light microscope (PLM) simulator.

The PLM simulator will be incorporated into formal education and professional training modules based on the virtual analysis environment. The modules will provide instruction on background subject content, instruction on the use of the PLM through the analysis of known samples, and evaluation of achievement through the analysis of unknown samples. The modules will be based on real-world examples and will be delivered over the Internet or on CD/DVD as appropriate to the specific application. Dr. Stephen Kennedy and David Exline are the principal investigators along with the assistance of Bill Salvucci and the Software Group, Allison Murtha of the Forensic Group and Cheryl Teaters, biology and forensic teacher at Gateway High School.

RJ Lee Group’s iOPT and iSEM microscope simulators were also developed through NSF SBIR funding for the use in education. The Properties of Rocks, a Web-based elementary, middle school and high school earth science curriculum enhancement module, employs the iOPT which allows students to investigate rock samples at high magnifications. The Properties of Rocks is currently being commercialized throughout areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Mexico.

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