Center receives $2.9 million dollar grant

Colin Likas


Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology will make big strides along some of Indianapolis’ waterways.
CUE received a $2.9-million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported Monday.
The four-year grant will be used to create a unique “science museum,” said Tim Carter, CUE director, in an interview with IBJ.
Carter did not respond to The Collegian’s request for comment.
Butler will use the funds to create sites at locations along six Indianapolis waterways.
At these sites, Butler students and faculty will analyze scientific ideas through such activities as dance, music and poetry.
“The main thing our program is trying to do is have the projects we fund not only do good things for their communities in science and education, but also in some way advance key ideas in how people learn science in out-of-school settings,” said Al DeSena, Directorate for Education and Human Resources program director at the National Science Foundation.
CUE’s grant proposal was considered by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources division.
DeSena said the division received more than 400 proposals in its current round of funding.
“The whole notion of waterways, urban ecology and sustainable development was a considerable topic for the 21st century,” DeSena said.
The decision was made by a board of science and education professionals from around the country to accept 40 of these—CUE’s proposal being one.
DeSena said budget and geographic distribution are some factors considered by the board.
DeSena said another major strength of the proposal was CUE’s intended collaboration with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
The waterways listed in CUE’s proposal are: Central Canal, White River, Eagle Creek, Fall Creek, Pogue’s Run and Pleasant Run.
CUE hopes to have sites established at some point along each of these waterways by spring 2015, Carter said.
“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 in an interview with IBJ