WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University-affiliated startup Explore Interactive has received a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Science Foundation and a $50,000 grant from Elevate Ventures. The funding will support the organization's goal of developing an augmented reality platform to encourage students to learn about STEM. 

The program aims to teach users hands-on science through gameplay.

The grant funds development work in collaboration with HitPoint Studios and educational research with researchers at the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering at Purdue University.

The grant money will be used to allow the augmented reality platform to include four children across devices, so they can work together, using their own smart device camera. Students are encouraged to learn from and with each other.

“Collaborative augmented reality is one of the most innovative things happening in education,” Thompson said. “It allows teachers to challenge students to work together to troubleshoot and solve problems. The potential topics are limitless,” said Amanda Thompson, chief executive officer of Explore Interactive.