Current Research Projects

Parents Access to Informal Learning
Access to informal learning is an important part of preparing children for school, sparking their passion for topics and teaching them become life-long learners.  Parents perhaps have the most influence over a childs informal learning. The many free online learning tools would suggest that informal learning is becoming more equitable. However, research indicates that low-income and low-education families use these tools far less than the wealthy and well-educated – resulting in a greater educational divide.  Most low income and low-education parents are passionate about giving the  children the best opportunities. This work looks at how we can we create information technologies that provide better awareness and access to online informal learning opportunities?
Student: Marisol Wong-Villacres, Parisa Khanipour Roshan, Akansha Gupta

BitBlox: Learning with Making
This research explores how the materials of the making movement – micro controllers, resistors, breadboards, sensors, LEDs, etc – both promoting and hinder learning about electronics and computing.  Through these efforts we are redesigning maker modules, including a new type of bread board, to have greater affordances for learning.
Students: Kayla DesPortes

Maker Oriented Learning in Advanced Computer Science Classes
Computer science students frequently lament the lack of hands on creative work they do. Faculty tend to rely on lecture and assignment based approaches to teaching computer science (CS). This work explores the use of studio arts models of learning computer science using maker actives in advanced CS classes.  These classes provide opportunities to demo new techniques, studio work time, and pin-up and critiques. We are seeking to leverage these approaches to increase the students reflection on their learning, the ability to transfer what they learn to new context and the robustness of the community of learners among CS students.
Students: Kayla DesPortes and Zane Cochran

Hemonouts: STEM Learning Game for Chronically Ill Children
In partnership with Thrust Interactive and Dr. Wilber Lam and Dr. Elaissia Hardy from Emory we have developed a game for 8 – 13 year old children with sickle cell anemia to teach them about their condition and general science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content. Our research explores how topics that are important to a student can be motivating, rather than focusing on fun or interest driven learning.
Students: Sarah Schoemann and Cheryl Cheong

Computer Science Education in New York City
In collaboration with Dr. Matthew Berland of the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Nathan Holbert of Columbia University Teachers College we are exploring how the CS4All initiative in NYC was developed and deployed over the past 5 years. Our goal is to better understand how a district as large and diverse as NYC Public Schools can navigate an unprecedented change in K-12 education.

Selected Games, Exhibitions, Perfomances and Collections

Hemonouts: STEM Learning Game for Chronically Ill Children, 2017
Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, GA
In this set of apps children can launch a spaceship into their blood stream and through challenging games that teach them about their body and other STEM content.

The Virtual STEM Buddy
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, GA, 2017
The VSB is a augmented reality character that interacts in customized ways with children and parents in the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Prompting them to reflect on learning moments in the museum.

The Move Lab: A STEAM Community of Learners, 2013
Eyedrum Art Center Atlanta, GA
This one week workshop brought dancers and computer engineers and programmers together with middles school girls to create a technology infused dance performance that addressed issues important to the teens. The dance performances included the use of micro controllers, lights, sensors, and music.

Kitchen Lab: A Mobile Hearth for Collectivist Action 2012
The Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
Part research, part practice, the goals of the Walker Kitchen Lab were to explore how the kitchen functions as a place for cultural expression and social action and to produce a series of prototype objects and events as experiments in public design. In collaboration with Carl DiSalvo and the education staff at the Walker Art Center.

The First Supper: Public design & local food 2011
The Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
This one-day workshop brought together local artists, designers, chefs, and growers to explore food politics and the use of food as a medium for social engagement and commentary. In collaboration with Carl DiSalvo and the education staff at the Walker Art Center.

The Productivity Paradox and the Cupcake Robot 2008
The Mattress Factory Art Museum Pittsburgh, PA
Interactive robot and art instillation for the Meet the Made exhibit,

Build-A-Monster Game 2006
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
Project and game design lead on this web-based game, that allowed visitors to explore virtually explore the Children’s Museum in their quest to build a monster.

Click! Urban Adventure Game 2005
explanatoids Pittsburgh, PA
Project director for this large-scale mixed-reality game,,

Candy Indulgence 2005
Resolution Sculpture exhibit, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Pittsburgh, PA
Site-specific installation and performance created as one of two artists selected for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Resolution Sculptures.

Are You Nuts? 2005
Hidden in Plain Sight/The Forest in the City, Three Rivers Gallery Pittsburgh, PA
Installation and video collaboration with Kristin Hughes and curators Katherine Talcott, Tom and Connie Merriman.

UNMOVIE (stand_in) 2003
Critical_Conditions, Wood Street Gallery Pittsburgh, PA
An interactive installation in collaboration with 0501 Art Collaborative, Phillip Pocock and Gregor Stehle to develop a physical installation and extension of the existing digital components, curator Timothy Druckrey,

Sweet Vanity: The Taste of Fame and Ambrosia 2003
Permanent collection of Barbara Luderowski Pittsburgh, PA
0501 Art Collaborative created this robotic vanity box using the ostrich egg theme provided by the Mattress Factory for their annual art auction.

Predatory Lending Garments 2003
FLUX Oakland Pittsburgh, PA
0501 Art Collaborative site-specific work in collaboration with Value Krew, a notorious local graffiti crew.

Form 1996 – 2001
Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
Theatre de la Jeune Lune Minneapolis, MN
Lowertown Arts Cooperative St. Paul, MN
A series of performances that explored the creation of a partner out of clay. Created in collaboration with dancer David Wick.

Columns 1998
Room Show, No Name Exhibitions at The Soap Factory Minneapolis, MN
Site-specific installation for the first No Name Exhibition group show at the new location, The Soap Factory.

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