Grant to bring learning innovations to eastern North Carolina schools

An East Carolina University partnership with North Carolina State University was one of 19 programs nationwide selected to share in $7 million in grants for new and innovative learning programs.

The partnership will lead to release of an intelligent game-based learning environment entitled “Crystal Island” to rural middle school students throughout eastern North Carolina.

In Crystal Island, students work to solve a science mystery as they learn about microbiology. The game will help students achieve Common Core State Standards, new North Carolina state guidelines that establish what students need to learn in each grade.

Initial tests with more than 1,000 students have demonstrated significant learning gains in both science and literacy with the program.

The partnership is a collaboration between the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education in the ECU College of Education and the IntelliMedia Group at NCSU.

The grants are provided through Next Generation Learning Challenges, a collaborative program aimed at applying technological innovations to enhance learning and improve college readiness. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

ECU’s NGLC director Roger Conner said, “We believe learning technologies and next generation models can produce transformative change…for both teachers and students.”

For additional information on the Next Generation Learning Challenges, visit Contact ECU’s NGLC director at 252-328-6922 or e-mail





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