We started LEARNerds as a blog to help sharpen our minds while brushing up on fundamental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) knowledge. Presented in an engaging bite-sized daily question format with thorough explanations, the blog soon found a growing audience - other STEM professionals who also felt rusty. Many voiced a desire to continue learning and exercising their analytical & problem-solving abilities.
Talking with our audience, we discovered some had tried other ways to challenge themselves (Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera). But the time commitment those courses required were often too overwhelming. These professionals found it hard to study for hours after finishing a hectic full day of work. Eventually, they would burn out, and never complete the learning goals they had set out for themselves.
We then realized - the learning material wasn’t what hindered our users, it was how they approached learning & making progress.
Our audience has repeatedly told us that they enjoy our bite-sized dosage of learning & problem-solving. Many have made it a morning routine - a way to jumpstart their brain before beginning the day’s work. Others enjoy taking their “doses” in between meetings, chores, commutes or even as a short break.
We see LEARNerds as a place where STEM professionals can regularly come to exercise, learn and hone their problem-solving skills in manageable chunks. The STEM fields are all about solving problems. If we can further empower this group of problem-solvers to better do what they love, then the potential impact can be huge.
If selected for this grant, this opportunity will enable us to put funds towards developing the website into its next iteration. We’re aiming to create a website with high-quality content geared towards working professionals, utilizing gamification techniques and adaptive learning.
In the coming month, we will also be applying to join start-up accelerators.
Funded by Miami, FL (October 2014)