Creativity Labs Team

Kylie Peppler is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University. An artist by training, she engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, media, new technologies, and informal learning. Peppler’s involvement in the study and development of the media-rich programming environment Scratch resulted in the book, The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities. Peppler has collaborated with Leah Buechley and Yasmin Kafai to study e-textiles and to create new programming tools and an online community (LilyPond) for LilyPad Arduino designers. Her current work on creativity, systems thinking, and media arts in youth communities is supported by the National Science Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Sophia Bender is a doctoral student in Indiana University’s Learning Sciences program. She previously studied psychology and English writing. Bender’s research interests include creativity in learning, learning through play, and the so-called “fourth-grade slump” in creativity, achievement, and learner interest. Through her work in Indiana University’s Center for Research on Learning and Technology (CRLT), Bender hopes to make school more exciting for kids.
Christian McKay is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at Indiana  University. McKay has come to the Creativity Labs team as a working sculptor with his MFA from California College of the Arts. This experience and his prior lives as a helicopter mechanic, arborist, foundryman, and high school art teacher have helped shape his divergent thinking in education. McKay’s research interests extend to design-based curriculum, and creativity through craft and digital fabrication in the classroom. His current project is a collaboration with Bloomington Project School in Indiana to build a Fab Cart to bring digital fabrication technology into the classroom for K-8 children.
Rafi Santo is pursuing his doctorate in Learning Sciences at Indiana University. He specializes in the design and implementation of digital learning projects that to date have included: youth advisories on digital media; digital design-based curricula that teach systems thinking; civic engagement programs centered on social media and game design; and youth leadership development in virtual worlds. Santo has collaborated with diverse organizations, including The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, UNICEF, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning grantees.
Kate Shively is a graduate assistant at the Indiana University Creativity Labs. Her research pursuits include e-textiles, video games, and digital design platforms (e.g., Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations). Shively is particularly interested in how young children learn when engaged in informal, interest-driven activities.
Verily Tan is a second-year doctoral student in the Instructional Systems Technology program at Indiana University. In her native Singapore, Tan taught high school for seven years and also worked as a Learning & Development Specialist at Singapore’s SIM University, where she collaborated with faculty to implement blogs and wikis as teaching and learning tools. Tan’s current interests are case-based learning and instructional design as a design process.