Night Skies Monitoring Light Pollution & Mapping Galaxies

With darkness closing in early, winter was once my nemesis. Now, though, I recognize the season’s potentially significant citizen science value. Theoretically, the leafless trees and dark skies should provide stargazers with stunning views, but finding a vantage point that isn’t flooded with artificial light has become increasingly difficult. Government bodies, area schools, businesses—even individual homeowners—illuminate Bloomington’s night sky, and collectively contribute to light pollution.

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500 Women Scientists Active & Growing at IU

After the 2016 election, and with the installation of the Trump administration, many felt that support for science was in jeopardy. And when scientists are under pressure, that pressure is particularly intense for women, says Sarah Schanz, one of the new leaders of the Indiana University chapter (or “pod”) of 500 Women Scientists.

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby Pushing for Carbon Tax

The vast majority of scientists agree that, unchecked, global climate change will continue to impact weather patterns, glaciers will keep melting in record time, and coastal lands will be flooded by rising sea levels. The problem is vast and can seem overwhelming. That’s how Marshall Saunders, a California real estate broker, felt before founding Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) in 2007.

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Local Composers Create Modern Operas for Kids

Kim Carballo, a voice coach at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, says that in the 1950s and ’60s, a slew of children’s operas were composed to introduce children to the art form. “Kids used to graduate from sixth grade knowing Carmen and other famous works, but now there’s a different focus on arts education,” Carballo says.

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A Dig at Wylie House Museum Unearthing 1859 Greenhouses

Even before I joined the dig at the Wylie House Museum, I knew my concept of archaeology—mostly dinosaurs, mummies, and Indiana Jones—was tragically oversimplified. Still, I didn’t know how oversimplified until I started working alongside some real archaeologists uncovering circa-1859 greenhouses.

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Eskenazi Undergoes Renovation but School Outreach Continues

The Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) requires every second-grade student to visit the Indiana University Eskenazi Museum of Art, but since the museum closed for renovation in May 2017, fulfilling that requirement has been impossible. The solution? Bring the museum to the students. 

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Girls Inc. Camps Encourage Fun, Camaraderie & STEM

Summer camp is about having fun and making friends, and Girls Inc. summer camps are all that—and more. Unlike traditional day camps, the camaraderie and crafts at these camps are infused with academic enrichment, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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Camp Yes And: Using Improv as a Learning Tool for Youth on the Autism Spectrum

Most people are familiar with improvisational theater—unscripted live-performance shows in which actors make up the scene on the spot. Improv works because everyone on stage agrees to play along, says Jim Ansaldo, a research scholar at the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University. “If improv has one rule, it’s the rule of ‘yes and,’” Ansaldo says.

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Global Minded Project Expanding Horizons Through Travel

Even before she founded the Global Minded Project (GMP) last year, Bloomington native Malissa Waterford knew she wanted to bring two of her interests—travel and working with children—together for a common purpose. However, she says it wasn’t until she visited Europe as part of an educational tour group that she found the inspiration for her nonprofit organization.

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Cardinal Stage Company Brings Drama to Fairview Elementary

Sixteen intently focused fourth-through-sixth grade Fairview Elementary School students sound out a complex string of nonsense syllables, a warmup for a drama class. They’re led by Connor Starks, an Indiana University freshman and Cardinal Stage Company intern. It’s all part of an arts-infused educational model Fairview adopted eight years ago.

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IU Scientists Group Fighting Gov’t Anti-Science Policies

The 2016 election generated widespread concern about the anti-science rhetoric used by the campaigns of President Donald Trump and other Republicans. “In the past, science has gotten very strong bipartisan support,” says Michael Hamburger, a professor of geological sciences at Indiana University. “Something has changed significantly in the last few years.”

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New NASA Planetary Protection Officer Enjoys the Sweet Life in New Unionville

There were about 1,400 other applicants for arguably one of the most important jobs on the planet—safeguarding our biosphere from extraterrestrial biological contaminants and preventing earthly organisms from wreaking havoc on planets we might explore in the future. But Lisa Pratt, formerly a geological sciences professor in the Indiana University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, now holds the out-of-this-world title of Planetary Protection Officer for NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. 

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