Art of Science Learning Innovation Launch on Thursday

This is an event I won’t be able to attend — but an FYI for those who are interested, it’s on Thursday, January 22 from 5:00-7:30pm at Union Station —

Seven cross-disciplinary and multi-generational teams of area residents will introduce and present their novel solutions to Worcester-area transportation challenges, which they have developed over the past year.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested since seating is limited. Post-event, complimentary refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available.

The Art of Science Learning is built on more than 15 years of work by Harvey Seifter and colleagues, exploring the impact of artistic skills, processes and experiences on learning and the innovation process. Seifter is the New York City-based founder, director and principal investigator of the Art of Science Learning.

Two years ago, the Art of Science Learning selected Worcester, Chicago and San Diego to host Incubators for Innovation as part of its Phase 2 initiative, funded by a $2.6-million National Science Foundation grant. The purpose of the grant was to explore innovation at the intersection of art, science and learning. The Worcester Incubator, hosted by the EcoTarium and Clark University, has focused on developing innovative solutions to the area’s urban-transportation challenges.

Dozens of volunteers drawn from across sectors of education, sciences, business and the arts have spent the past 11 months learning about innovation and working as innovators, using a cutting-edge, new arts-based curriculum to spark innovation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and STEM learning. Supported by national experts and local mentors, these Art of Science Learning Fellows have been developing transportation solutions to enhance Worcester’s economic activity, connect its communities, and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors.
Innovation descriptions

Here are brief descriptions (alphabetically, by team name) of the innovations created by the Worcester teams, which will be unveiled during the Worcester Innovation Launch on January 22 at Union Station:

• PedSim route modeling is a new geospatial big-data tool that allows urban planners and private developers to model and quantify the potential impact of site selection and infrastructure improvements on pedestrians and cyclists.

• Secret City Interactive is a new service that uses augmented reality and social media to create a visually engaging, interactive pedestrian experience designed to encourage neighborhood, historic, and cultural exploration, and the creation of user-user generated content to foster community learning and connections.

• Smart Transit for Healthcare is a new service that improves the ability of patients reliant on public transportation to access healthcare through a database/ application/web-based interface. The system allows service providers to optimize patient-transportation efficiency when scheduling appointments and provides patients with clear routing and timing information.

• Sprezza is a dynamically routed, multi-modal, demand-driven system that is built on a novel algorithm that integrates use patterns with real-time traffic and weather information to determine optimal bus and shuttle routes, hub locations and frequencies.

• STEM Unplugged is a new middle-school science curriculum that uses the arts to teach transportation-related subject matter, as the focus of a series of lessons and classroom experiences that align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

• Tasks for Transit is a new process that increases the ability of low-income community residents to gain access to public transportation, while stimulating support for community-based social services. The process leverages the sharing economy by recording hours worked by non-profit volunteers into bus passes, which partnering non-profit organizations dispense to individual clients in need.

• Wires Over the World is a new project-based, NGSS-aligned, high-school science curriculum that consists of a MOOC (Massively Open On-Line Course) about urban-transportation alternatives coupled with an engineering and design competition focused on aerial-transportation technology and systems.

For more information

To learn more about the Art of Science Learning and the Worcester Incubator for Innovation, visit http://www.ArtofScienceLearning.org/ Or, contact Joyce Kressler, director of the Worcester Incubator for Innovation, at JoyceKressler@ArtofScienceLearning.org, 508-929-2774 or 508-826-3866.

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