Querium Corporation announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Querium one of its highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. The company will use the funds to develop a Common Core Algebra 1 knowledge cartridge within its StepWise Virtual Tutor software. “This contract is critical to achieving our mission of helping millions of learners develop the STEM skills they need to achieve their career goals,” said Patti Smith, Querium CMO and Principal Investigator on the contract. “StepWise Virtual Tutor is designed to give students greater confidence in their problem solving abilities by catching them at the first sign of confusion and guiding them back on track through carefully scaffolded hints.” Funds from the SBIR contract will support development and market testing of the rule base for Common Core Algebra standards and user experience within the product. The software will use artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology to function as a tutor for solving Algebra problems. The personalized and adaptive engine will allow students to show their work, intervene immediately when they make mistakes and generate hints when they get stuck. It will feature handwriting recognition technology to give students a natural experience similar to writing on paper.