Indianapolis as a Living Laboratory: Science Learning for Resilient Cities

October 1st, 2013 - September 30th, 2017 | PROJECT

Indianapolis / City as Living Laboratory (I/CaLL) is a city-wide civic collaboration engaging in cross-sector research that builds on prior research in informal science learning in public settings. It extends research in place-based and service learning traditions, and uses the city itself as an informal science learning (ISL) environment for Science and Engineering for Environmental Sustainability learning outcomes. This project is creating place-based science learning experiences as part of public spaces in Indianapolis and establishes the next generation of urban science museums that increase opportunities for learning. The project will develop a self-sustaining program for art/science collaborations as they inaugurate city-sanctioned changeable installations at I/CaLL sites. Data from the project will be used to inform ISL professionals at museums throughout the community and around the country. Thousands of volunteers and their families will help create I/CaLL spaces, engage with communities, and serve as research participants connecting with science learning through site development. The unprecedented scale of this project provides a full measure of informal science service learning at a city scale, offering data that can change how science learning is measured, how people from all walks of life develop science literacy as part of their social public experience, and embodying the concept of the city as a living science learning lab. Broader impacts include the development of the city as an informal science learning environment that will become a new standard for thinking about what cities as cultural units can become as we build a resilient Science and Engineering culture for Environmental Sustainability.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

2014 Poster: Indianapolis/City as a Living Laboratory (iCaLL)
2016 Poster: Poster - Indianapolis: City as a Living Laboratory (iCaLL); Science Learning For Resilient Cities
Indianapolis, City as a Living Laboratory: 21 Urban Water Science Concepts Resource Handbook
Artists’ Work Process: STEM Topics & Art-Science Collaboration
Indianapolis Residents’ Understanding of & Engagement with STEM & Urban River Ecology
Art Experiences & Advancing Science Literacy Instruments
I/CaLL: Community Science Learning
I/CaLL Community Science Learning Instruments Appendix
Reflections on Public Art + Science Reasoning

Team Members

timothy carter, Principal Investigator, Butler University
Gabriel Filippelli, Co-Principal Investigator, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Mary Miss, Co-Principal Investigator, Mary Miss Studio
John Fraser, Co-Principal Investigator, New Knowledge Organization, Ltd.


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1323117
Funding Amount: $2,943,065


Access and Inclusion: Urban
Audience: Evaluators | Families | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Education and learning science | Engineering | General STEM
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Public Events and Festivals | Public Programs