Projects in development

Pilot project #1 (in development)

Science Education and Communication: Innovative Methods for the Collection and Representation of Scientific Data

Project leads: TBD

The Mississippi River has been central to ongoing conversations and research about climate change’s effects on the health and resiliency of US communities that live in proximity to the river. The Mississippi’s ecology and rich cultural history offer tremendous opportunities for experiential learning at the intersection of climate changes, citizen science, and open source mobile technologies. As a mobile research laboratory, the Barge offers a setting for project-based learning of an integrated STEM curriculum. This curriculum will include topics such as watershed management, river pollution and climate change and involve activities such as sample collection and analysis, open source sensor deployment, data science, and public engagement through pop-up exhibitions and public presentations.

Leveraging the Barge’s unique collaborative environment of scientists, educators, artists, and musicians, we will develop innovative interdisciplinary science education and communication techniques that make extensive use of creative data visualization and sonification techniques, open source software and hardware, and mobile technologies. We will develop academic partnerships to offer summer and semester-long experiential learning programs.  Finally, we will engage high school and college students from urban and rural communities along the Mississippi River through one- and multi-day teaching sessions on the Barge.

Pilot project #2 (in development)

Digital Storytelling: Documenting Barge Research on and about the Mississippi (Mississippi Studies)

Project leads: TBD

Over the course of the Barge’s journey, there will be many opportunities for digital storytelling and media documentation of the research, personal stories, and shared experiences created along the way. In order to communicate the research process to the public, a media team will document these stories across a variety of media forms, including a website, photography, social media, a video docu-series and audio podcasting. This will be an experiential learning experience for storytellers drawn from high school and college-aged students.

The team will learn about professional media content and platform development. They will develop a website that visually tracks in realtime the Barge’s spatial progress on the Mississippi River. While underway, the team will regularly create content for the website about the research process, its findings, and relate personal stories. At the conclusion of the voyage, the team will be responsible for creating a longer video documentary summarizing the findings of the trip.

Pilot project #3 (in development)

Mississippi in Common: design project proposal

Project leads: Futures North

Mississippi in Common takes its inspiration from the diverse creative forms that express resilience in the face of adversity. We propose a reconfigurable and inhabitable built structure that will both be a space for play and exploration and for the exhibition of creative works drawn from the banks of the Mississippi River. Its form is inspired by the experimental structures found along the Mississippi constructed in response to the twin adversities of flooding and displacement, specifically the vernacular architecture of custom built houseboats, river shacks, converted barges and other floating structures. [excerpt – more soon]

Pilot project #4

[in progress – musical collaboration and performance]

Pilot project #5

[in progress – culinary history and change]

Other future pilot projects

More soon.