IDEA Projects

The IDEA Studio is dedicated to promoting the development of critical and creative thinking skills in learners of all ages. To that end, the studio joined forces with two eighth grade teachers in Roanoke County to implement a design-based learning environment with 50 students over the course of 18 weeks.

The project "Connected Vehicle Derby" is a collaboration between ICAT and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Related to this project is an event being organized on Thursday, May 1st, from 5:30 to 8:30pm in the Cube (Moss Arts Center).

Learn more about the event.

Stay tuned for more details.

What do design, DIY, robotics, engineering, and music all have in common? They all combine to create the successful ingredients for ICAT’s first ever Maker camp! Each summer, ICAT studio heads, researchers, and graduate students welcome nearly thirty middle and high school-aged students to a week long camp designed to harness students’ creativity and encourage them to act on their curiosity.

Kids age 6 to 12 are invited to bring an adult and build a cardboard arcade game at ICAT’s second annual Caine’s Arcade Global Cardboard Challenge.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 28 from 9 to 2. We had so much fun last year.

When the after-school curriculum encompasses engineering design, the challenge is greater due to the difficulty in assessing intangibles such as design and deep conceptual knowledge. Traditional paper and pencil assessments are difficult to administer amidst the controlled chaos of engineering design and counteractive to the essence of informal learning spaces.

The Four Four Beat Project, originally established in 2007 as the HipHop2020 Curriculum Project, is a digital pedagogies initiative seeded in 2012 by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and the School of Education at Virginia Tech.

Inspired by a nine-year-old’s cardboard creativity, the Global Cardboard Challenge was a chance for local kids and their parents to design and build their own cardboard arcade, complete with high scores, bouncy balls, ball return systems, rubber band slings, pin setters, and prizes.

Virginia Tech graduate students lead hands-on workshop for visiting 5th graders through Virginia Career View’s Kindergarten to College program

Area makers ages 13 to 18 are invited to share what they make with the world at Virginia Tech’s first Make-to-Learn Workshop. The free event will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 1-5p.m. in STUDIOne. Makers create everything from engineering-oriented projects to traditional arts and crafts. Participants will complete a project, but will also learn how to identify, document, and explain their process.

In the fall semester of 2011, IDEAStudio team members implemented a transdisciplinary course that brought together students from industrial design, computer science, instructional design, and educational psychology. This diverse group collaborated to design educational products at the intersection of the arts, science, education, and creative technologies.

Students of the IDEAStudio special study course, “Bridging the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities through Creative Technologies,” collaborated to deliver three one-hour workshops for elementary students during the spring 2012 semester. Participants in the course used the workshops to test progressive iterations of their Change Over Time project, which encourages students to visualize science concepts and create artistic representations of those concepts using a single sheet of paper.

The Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology took some of its projects on the road, bringing a group of interactive exhibitions that merged creative technologies with the arts and education to the Science Museum of Western Virginia for its “Second Saturday Science” program.

Beginning in the fall of 2012, some eighth grade students at a local middle school will be studying their subject matter in an altogether different way every Friday. Two eighth grade teachers spent the summer working with IDEAStudio team members to plan a design-based curriculum that emphasizes the important connections among disciplines.

The GAMES Project is a three-year, NSF-funded program addressing the need to develop transformative learning experiences that leverage video games and mobile technologies.