Codecraft Works Secures Federal Funding in Support of Learning Science
The new R&D activities are summarized using the project name VEST (Virtual Employment Simulation Technology)
Codecraft Works, an educational technology developer and world-class training partner, was selected to receive a Phase II-B award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR).
The award is intended to help Codecraft Works scale its innovative online curriculum, courses, and data-driven web tools to meet the growing demand for high-tech education and industry-focused training. With the funds from this award, it will be able to further refine its online tools and expand its curriculum to include new, advanced topics and rapid production of best-in-class custom industry training. Built on top of Codecraft Works’ existing cloud-hosted, browser-based edTech, this R&D effort will allow the company to reach a wider audience, providing more people with access to in-demand skills and knowledge, and providing businesses with competitive tools to recruit and train the workforce needed to stay ahead in the ever-changing high-tech world.
The SBIR program funds a diverse portfolio of startups and small businesses across technology areas and markets to stimulate technological innovation, meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact. The SBIR program fosters and encourages participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by all people, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and entrepreneurs located in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that promotes scientific progress in the United States by investing in research and education.
Founder and CEO Shannon Landin launched Codecraft Works in July 2011 after experiencing the lack of required computer science, software- and cyber-industry focused training in K12 education. Today, the company provides STEM education and high-tech training tools and curriculum development to industry and education partners, including BAC, Brevard Public Schools, Aspiration Academy, Eastern Florida State College, and FieldCore – a GE Company, among others.
“We are thrilled to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Landin. “We are committed to providing our partners with the tools they need to succeed in the rapidly changing world of software and information technology. We believe this innovation will have a significant positive impact on education and training for employers competing to fill technical roles and for students or job seekers looking to build solid middle-class careers.”
Codecraft Works is headquartered at Groundswell, a Brevard County community of digital nomads, innovators and entrepreneurs, and joined Cenfluence, the Central Florida Cluster Initiative, as a member of the Learning Sciences & Human Performance Cluster in July 2021 and received invaluable business and proposal support. Cenfluence identified several promising faculty member partners and made a connection between Codecraft Works and Dr. Michelle Taub, an Assistant Professor and Core Faculty in UCF’s Learning Sciences & Educational Research. The two hit it off immediately and established a collaboration.
For this project, Dr. Taub will be responsible for directing study design, data collection, and preliminary coding of participants’ interactions with the software to assess their performance and will coordinate these activities with the Codecraft Works development team to ensure data analytics capture all behaviors needed to answer study research questions. “I am excited to work with Shannon and the Codecraft Works team”, said Dr. Taub. “This is an exciting partnership that showcases collaboration between academia and industry with the goal of helping all learners succeed in their career aspirations. I know this project will have a strong impact on the STEM education and the Learning Sciences communities”.