Ames, IA (October 16) — The National Institute of Health awarded $1.6 million to Parametric Studios to develop CURIE; which will make it easier to implement rich, complex, and multidisciplinary projects in traditional classrooms through a combination of hands-on learning, crowd sourcing, software tools, gaming, and team building. Located in the Iowa State University Research Park, Parametric Studios is targeting two customer segments for commercialization: high school and college classrooms.

Parametric is on a mission to bring real world STEM projects, tools, and career-oriented experiences to high school and undergraduate students through CURIE – a gamified STEM learning tool designed to engage and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.

With CURIE, high school students will collaborate on teams on numerous types of STEM projects, such as: creating a greenhouse to be sold to other schools, building a portable wind energy system, or customizing a 3-D printed prosthetic for end user. Using game-based design, project collaboration tools, and crowd sourcing, classrooms can contribute to these and other projects with a STEM workforce focus. CURIE challenges students to find solutions to real-world STEM problems. The goal is increasing early exposure to STEM fields and giving students additional exposure to STEM careers and experiences.

“Learning by doing, and creating solutions to real problems that are complex and need diverse teams are one of the best approaches to teaching STEM ideas, motivating students, and connecting ideas to a future job or career. We want to help students learn how to create solutions to real needs in their communities” says founder and CTO of Parametric Studio, Christopher Whitmer. “Any child can be interested and capable in STEM. We hope to make STEM learning more connected to the real world and at the same time making it easier to implement in a traditional classroom.”

CURIE is compatible with other Parametric Studio STEM kits; enhancing the hands-on learning experience. 

“We want all educators to have the tools they need to put all students in the shoes of a scientist, designer, engineer, or medical professional,” said Whitmer.

Parametric Studios recently completed Phase 1 of CURIE development, where they built a proof of concept to test in classrooms. Whitmer said Parametric is now connecting undergraduate engineering students, high school STEM students and career tech education classrooms, instructors or course designers to do more testing and pilot classrooms to collaborate and refine the project-based learning tool. Educators interested in being a test partner can reach out via email to Parametric Studios Inc. anticipates releasing a CURIE prototype in 2024.

About Parametric Studio Inc.:

Founded in 2016, Parametric Studio Inc. is an Ed-Tech company based in Ames IA. We specialize in engineering-centric and project-based STEM software, maker kits, and curricula for K-12. Our team of engineers, educators, artists, gamers, and makers believe in the importance of STEM education. Our ultimate goal is to inspire and educate the next generation of STEM leaders. Parametric Studio combines real tools with approachable interfaces, gamification, educational content, and hands-on prototyping to create novel STEM solutions — inside and outside of the classroom.

About Iowa State University Research Park:

Iowa State University Research Park is a 550+ acre development with more than 800,000 square feet of workspace in 18 buildings, an innovation community and incubator for new and expanding businesses. The Park was founded to provide the space and resources needed to advance science-based initiatives and assist startups and Iowa-based companies develop their potential by nurturing scientific and technological entrepreneurial ventures. The Park connects tenants with resources they need to profit from their research, including facilities, expertise, technology, financing, talent, and more. For more information, visit and follow Iowa State University Research Park on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Media Contacts:
Christopher Whitmer, Ph.D.

Buffy Clatt