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What is NoRILLA?
Teachers and administrators are challenged every day to engage, excite, and build success with children in the sciences. We know that many of the plentiful 21st century jobs will require critical, deeper thinking, and problem solving skills in STE(A)M, but children lose interest in science by the 3rd grade. That’s where NoRILLA excels.
NoRILLA (Novel Research-based Intelligent Lifelong Learning Apparatus), developed and built on proven research at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), is a patented, award-winning mixed-reality system bridging the advantages of physical and virtual worlds to improve children's inquiry based STEAM learning, based on national standards. It provides personalized interactive feedback to children as they experiment and make discoveries in their physical environment, fostering their curiosity.
Continuing research at Carnegie Mellon University with hundreds of children has shown that NoRILLA improves children's learning by 5 times compared to equivalent tablet or computer games while also increasing their interest & enjoyment. Also, our research has shown that having our intelligent AI-based guided inquiry layer on top of physical experimentation improves children's learning and engagement significantly compared to traditional maker spaces or museum exhibits.
Below you can see a video of kids interacting with NoRILLA at local schools and museums and teachers/administrators talking about their experience with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LorLd_6lALE. We have been working with many school districts including Montour School District, Elizabeth Forward, Trinity Area School District, Deer Lakes School District, Bethel Park School District, Pace School (for kids with special needs), etc as well as museums like Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center and informal learning spaces like IKEA and Bright Horizons. We are also dedicated to working with underserved communities such as Headstart programs and Boys and Girls Clubs to reach children that don't have enough opportunities. Our goal is to scale this experience to make it beneficial for many others around the world...
NoRILLA can be used to teach children a wide variety of interdisciplinary STEAM concepts including early physics principles, inquiry, balance and stability, measurements, geometry, symmetry, volume, proportion, scientific curiosity, ratio, graphing, probability and critical thinking based on national standards. It also encourages 21st century skills like collaboration, persistence and resilience. With generous support from Grable consortium, we have also created a curriculum including 15+ lesson plans with a consortium of schools in the Pittsburgh region. As we develop new modules on the NoRILLA platform, we also provide these to schools/centers that already have our base platform.
We have also received multiple awards including Mister Rogers Scholarship (Emmy's College Television Awards in New Media for Children), Golden Award in Cultivating Curiosity at Reimagine Education, grants from Grable Foundation, Sprout Funds, EQT Foundation, PNC Foundation and National Science Foundation (NSF) in Advanced Informal Science Learning and Accelerating Innovation Research Technology Transfer.
You can find more about our awards and press below:
Quotes from some children using NoRILLA:
“I wish all our science classes were fun like this!”
“I never thought something we do at school could be so much fun!”
“Can you make one for my birthday? I can trade my toys“
“This is like the next version of smart boards!”
"This is the best day of my life!"