Butler’s $2.9M grant to create new kind of science museum

The National Science Foundation has awarded Butler University's Center for Urban Ecology a four-year, $2.9 million grant—money the university will use to create sites along six Indianapolis waterways that will educate the public about the city's water system.
“We’re creating the first science museum in Indianapolis, but it will not be a building,” said Tim Carter, director of the Center for Urban Ecology. “Instead, we’re using the city itself as a learning environment and focusing on six waterways and the adjacent neighborhoods.”

The six waterways are the White River, Fall Creek, Central Canal, Eagle Creek, Pleasant Run and Pogue’s Run.

By spring 2015, the six "city as living laboratory sites" will feature activities such as dance, music and poetry that will interpret scientific content.

In addition, the project will be accessible virtually through an app for mobile devices so that temporary installations will have a life beyond the live performances.

“This innovative form of informal science learning combining scientific content and artistic endeavors of sculpture, music, dance, and poetry has the potential to reframe how future science museums around the country are constructed and programmed,” Carter said.

Funding will go to the artists, for installing sites, and toward research and evaluation.


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