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Satnews Daily
January 13th, 2016

Raytheon BBN Technologies Advances In Office of Naval Research STEM Grand Challenge

Kaitlyn Bishay and Margaret Knoblock concentrate as Steve Eno, physics teacher at El Segundo High School, explains how to use the intelligent tutor Help feature.

[Satnews] Raytheon BBN Technologies will advance to the second phase in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Grand Challenge, a competition to develop adaptive intelligent tutors. Four teams competed in the first phase, each developing an intelligent tutoring system for a specific purpose.

Raytheon BBN's entry, the BBN Learning Platform, uses artificial intelligence and self-paced problem solving to teach high school advanced placement (AP) physics. The web-based system evaluates student skills and knowledge in real time, providing immediate feedback and guidance to keep learners engaged, and is accessible on a wide variety of devices. 

"We designed our learning platform so it can be easily adapted to teach other subjects," said Rohit Kumar, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Raytheon BBN. "It also includes tools for teachers to generate automated reports on students' knowledge and engagement, and authoring tools that enable teachers to create and publish new content." 

Raytheon BBN has made the intelligent tutoring system available at no cost to high schools around the US. Three high schools are actively using the system, and 12 more plan to adopt it this year. 

Round Two

For the second phase of the STEM Grand Challenge, ONR asked BBN to develop an intelligent tutoring system to assist surgeons learning to use robots for laparoscopic surgeries performed with a flexible, fiber optic instrument passed through a small incision.

Robotic laparoscopic surgery offers significant benefits over traditional surgery, the most notable being a shorter recovery time. One challenge in the surgical suite is a shortage of quality training opportunities for surgeons. The new system will accelerate a surgeon's ability to learn and master control of robotic surgical systems.