Free search engine connects classrooms with science and technology

December 20, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va. -- An educational search engine funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has gone mobile just in time for the holidays with the Dec. 16 release of an iPad app.

Gooru--a free search engine for learning that brings together science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational materials on the web--developed the Gooru Collections iPad app to bring thousands of assorted multimedia resources to teachers and students on the go.

Launched with initial investment from ONR, Gooru provides a one-stop shop for fifth- to 12th-graders and their teachers to discover and share high-quality videos, games, digital textbooks, quizzes and other interactive products related to STEM and eventually other subjects.

"ONR's STEM efforts are looking for ways to inspire, engage and educate current and future STEM leaders," said Cmdr. Joseph Cohn, ONR's deputy director of research for STEM. "This technology promises to have a broad reach and would facilitate millions of students and teachers in developing a deeper understanding of a range of STEM disciplines."

Last year, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced plans to strengthen the service's future workforce by doubling the investment in STEM education over the next five years. The secretary shared this vision at a conference sponsored by ONR, which coordinates the Navy's STEM efforts and offers a collaborative website at STEM2Stern.org.

ONR's expertise in a variety of STEM initiatives has had a profound influence on Gooru's development, said Dr. Prasad Ram, founder and CEO of Gooru.

"We view our partnership with ONR as going beyond a funding relationship, to leveraging all of ONR's experience in the STEM space to help define, develop and continuously innovate on Gooru," Ram said. "Continued funding from ONR has helped to get us to this point and will allow us to fulfill our mission to bring the highest quality STEM education to every American student."

Gooru curates, auto-tags and contextualizes millions of STEM related web resources to get the most out of searches. It ranks and suggests items for students and teachers based on usage data, user input, search query logs and social signals.

"The Gooru platform has virtually eliminated many of the obstacles my teachers encounter that prevent significant technological integration to occur [in] today's classroom," said Gregory Green, principal of Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Mich. "Through Gooru, my teachers can immediately have an extensive online digital resource bank without having to spend countless hours researching and organizing sharable classroom content."
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Gooru is a free search engine for learning developed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the human right to education. Teachers and students can use Gooru to search for rich collections of multimedia resources, digital textbooks, videos, games and quizzes created by educators in the Gooru community. For more information, visit http://about.goorulearning.org.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

Office of Naval Research

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