SCIENCE & EDUCATION

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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IU Photobioreactor Formula: Flue Gases + Algae = Fertilizer

Where others see waste, Stephen “Chip” Glaholt and Mark Menefee see opportunity. Co-leaders on the new Indiana University photobioreactor project, Glaholt and Menefee plan to put photosynthetic
algae to work high atop IU’s Central Heating Plant. There, carbon- and nitrogen-rich emissions will be condensed and diverted from plant smokestacks to a maze of algae-filled pipes. Add a little sunlight and the waste is transformed into nutrient-rich biofertilizer. 

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IU Lecturer Donates His Spock Ears To Lilly Library Star Trek Collection

When Ben Motz, senior lecturer in the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, was a boy, his parents instilled in him a fascination with science fiction, particularly Star Trek. He grew up knowing all about the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, and vividly recalls watching episodes of the original TV series with his mother. 

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Archer Foundation Teaches Children How to Garden

With a mission “to help boys and girls learn about gardening,” the George E. Archer Foundation (GEAF) works with schools and nonprofit organizations by funding horticulture-based curriculum and activities. Formerly the Hilltop Educational Foundation, the GEAF was established in 1984 to support children’s gardening through advocacy, fundraising, and volunteer efforts.

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IU Law Prof Who Wrote the Book 
On Sexual Harassment Is in Demand

Sexual harassment has surged into the public consciousness this past year as numerous prominent journalists, politicians, Hollywood actors and producers, and corporate magnates have faced assault allegations. While the public asks how it could have been so wrong about the character of so many public figures, perplexed columnists and commentators have repeatedly turned to Jennifer Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, to explain the complexities of the situation.

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IU Science Fest October 21: Learn How to Do Amazing Stuff!

At IU’s Science Fest, visitors can create their own baseball-size comets using water, dry ice, dirt, and syrup. That’s just one of the many activities planned at the free event taking place October 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in several buildings across the IU campus.

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Digitization to Take IU’s Massive Herbarium Collection Into Modern Era

Indiana University’s Herbarium, a collection of 150,000 plant samples gathered over the past 130 years, has long provided a detailed catalog of Indiana’s plant life. Now this unique museum of native plants (and a rogues’ gallery of invasive species) is going digital. Herbarium staff hope to take the entire collection online by 2019. 

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Diplomacy Lab: Students Learning and Helping U.S. State Department

An innovative program initiated by the U.S. Department of State gives students the opportunity to help American diplomats tackle real-life problems. Diplomacy Lab, now in its second year at Indiana University, provides service-learning experiences for students in diverse disciplines that intersect with foreign policy—often in surprising ways.

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The ‘Sugar Daddy’ Culture

Africa is a great unknown to most Americans, often thought of in monolithic terms rather than in terms of the diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities of individual African nations. Before visiting Uganda, a sub-Saharan East African country about the size of Oregon, I was guilty of thinking in a similar way. 

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Life Inside a Refugee Camp

As my colleague Victor and I traveled along the dirt road from the Ugandan city of Arua to the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement along the South Sudanese border, I confided in him that I was incredibly nervous. 

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