The Creativity Labs @ Indiana University brings together educators, designers, artists, and learning theorists interested in constructionist and design-based learning. We focus on computational tools that support learning by leveraging youths’ interests in digital culture, design, and making.


Newsworthy Events

The Creativity Lab is excited about:

AnnaFellowship2017 HeidiAward2017 KylieAward2017 MakeBooks Mira Award Patent RCMWeaving Professor of Year

Research Interests

We are passionate about interest-driven learning and creativity. We are currently working on:

Maker Culture

Maker Culture

Exploring the intersection between digital and physical materials, we are looking at how tools like LilyPad Arduino, Scratch, Modkit, and other maker tools can be used to make a new world of possibilities in education.

Designing Systems

Designing Systems

From games to digital stories to embodied play, we explore learning that highlights systems thinking concepts in the real world.

Arts & Creativity

Arts & Creativity

The 21st century arts learning landscape is changing. We explore new approaches for fostering arts learning and creativity, in and out of schools.


We design and research new technologies to promote creative learning in youth communities. Mouse over and click the link icons on the projects below to learn more about some of our current and completed projects.


Current and prior support from:




BioSim Image

Funded by:

The National Science Foundation
BioSim Image

Funded by:

The National Science Foundation
RCM Image

Funded by:

The National Science Foundation
OPP Image

Funded by:

The Moore Foundation
HRL Image

Funded by:

The New York Community Trust
LATA Image

Funded by:

Collective Shift & The MacArthur Foundation
E-Textiles Image

Funded by:

The National Science Foundation
LATA Image

Funded by:

The U.S. Department of Education & The Ford Foundation
Make2Learn Image

Funded by:

The MacArthur Foundation & the Indiana Department of Education
Interconnections Image

Funded by:

The MacArthur Foundation
IDL Image

Funded by:

The Wallace Foundation, National Science Foundation, & Chicago Community Trust
Scratch Image

Funded by:

The Spencer Foundation, The National Science Foundation, & University of California President's Office
Music Image

Funded by:

The MacArthur Foundation & Fund for the Advancement of Peace and Education


The members of the Creativity Labs team have collaborated and contributed to more than 100 publications since 2008.


A Sampling of Our Recent Publications:

  1. Peppler, K. (Ed.) (2017). Encyclopedia of out-of-school learning. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
  2. Tan, V., Keune, A., & Peppler, K. (2017). The materiality of design in e-textiles. In S. Goldman & Z. Kabayadondo (Eds) Taking Design Thinking to School: How the Technology of Design Can Transform Teachers, Learners, and Classrooms. New York, NY: Routledge.
  3. Thompson, N., Peppler, K., & Danish, J. (2017). Designing BioSim: Playfully encouraging systems thinking in young children. In Zheng, R. & Gardner, M. (Eds.), Handbook of research on serious games for educational applications, Ch.7 (pp. 149-167). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  4. Peppler, K., Halverson, E. & Kafai, Y. (Eds.) (2016). Makeology: Makerspaces as learning environments (Volume 1). New York, NY: Routledge.
  5. Santo, R., Ching, D., Peppler, K., & Hoadley, C. (2016). Working in the open: Lessons from open source on building innovation networks in education. On the Horizon. 24(3), pp. 280-295. DOI: 10.1108/OTH-05-2016-0026
  6. Bender, S., and Samson, K. (2015, September 26-27). Re-crafting mathematics: Early lessons learned at the intersection of textile crafts and math. Paper presented at the fifth annual FabLearn Conference: Equity and Diversity in Making. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University.

Encyclopedia-OOSL Textile Messages New Creativity Paradigms New Creativity Paradigms

Textile Messages Gaming the System Script Changers Short Circuits Soft Circuits The Computer Clubhouse

Meet the Team

The Creativity Labs team includes learning scientists, educators, artists, designers, and programmers
Dr. Kylie A. Peppler

Kylie is an Associate 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.

Team Profile Image
Janis Watson

Janis is a 20-year veteran schoolteacher, an education writer, and a curriculum designer. Her interests lie in designing and facilitating the creation of innovative, digital, and game-based learning experiences.

Team Profile Image
Ed Gentry

Ed is a game designer and writer working in educational video games. He has published a handful of short stories, one fantasy novel, and some tabletop RPG content. He has an avid interest in board and tabletop RP games, both as designer and player.

Team Profile Image
Shenshen Han

Shenshen is currently working as the developer of the BioSim project at Creativity Labs. His recent interest mainly lies on exploring the sense of the next generation Internet Computing. He is an enthusiast of computer networks and pervasive computing.

Team Profile Image
Rafi Santo

Based in New York, Rafi’s work focuses on how inter-organizational networks support youth pathways in STEM, digital media and computing and how they foster professional learning, collaboration and collective action in the informal learning sector.

Team Profile Image
Sophia Bender

Sophia is interested in the role of creativity and engagement, promoting STEM equity through alternative approaches to learning and the inclusion of student interests (e.g., fan culture) in education. She hopes that, through her work in the Labs, she will help to make school more exciting for kids!

Team Profile Image
Joey Huang

Joey is interested in exploring learners' learning pathways in relation to culture, social interaction, and identity development. She hopes to create more interesting and inspiring learning environments to promote collaboration and STEM learning in the labs.

Team Profile Image
Anna Keune

With a background in participatory design of digital media learning tools in Europe and India, Anna is passionate about participatory making. Her work focuses on maker culture, documentation practices of youth at makerspaces across the US, and co-designing equitable curricular approaches for making.

Team Profile Image
Anthony Phonethibsavads

Tony fills a unique role in the labs as a specialist in creativity theory and assessment. Prior to joining the Creativity Labs, he worked on projects involving the measurement of creativity beliefs and stereotypes.

Team Profile Image
Mishael Sedas

Mishael is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences and Human-Computer Interaction, with a background in engineering. He is interested in using design to encourage and support interest-driven STEAM learning for non-dominant and low-income populations.

Team Profile Image
Naomi Thompson

Coming from psychology, education, and arts, Naomi is interested in intersections of arts, making, and broadening STEM participation. She is currently working on systems thinking through play in BioSim, and is involved in the ReCrafting Math project.

Team Profile Image
Suraj Uttamchandani

Coming from New York with a background in math, Suraj primarily studies higher education. His interests include discourse analytic methods, constructionist theory, the design of learning spaces, and critical approaches to the learning sciences.

Meet Our Expert Researchers!
Team Profile Image
Kate Samson

Kate recently received a bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science and Philosophy at IU. She is interested in ideas of embodied cognition, and is curious about the function of craft, computation and maker culture in creative learning. Kate is a cognitive scientist and ethnographer on our ReCrafting Math Education project.

Team Profile Image
Pooja Saxena

Pooja is a doctoral candidate with experience in designing innovative curriculum in mathematics. She is an embedded weaver interested in exploring what motivates or deters young female students to engage in the STEM fields.

Team Profile Image
Katherine Shanahan

Coming from Colorado with a background in physics, Kat is interested in informal learning environments and helping to make STEM accessible and exciting for students of all backgrounds. She is currently assisting with the BioSim project.

Meet Our Teacher Scholars!
Team Profile Image
Tarrance Banks

Tarrey teaches middle school, has a master's degree in school administration, and is working toward a Ph.D. in sustainability education. His focus on design-thinking, sustainability, and social justice through Project, Problem, and Place-based Learning (P3) is a great fit for the ReCrafting Math project.

Team Profile Image
Alicia Morris

Alicia is a high school teacher interested in the implications of physical/digital artifact design & production on the rate and quality of transfer of learning. How do the design process + interest-driven learning + integration of (computer science + fashion design + mathematics) concepts affect transfer?

Meet Our Undergraduates!
Team Profile Image
RCM: Angela Caldwell

Angela is currently working towards a BFA in metals after receiving a BA in Painting and Art History. She owns her own jewelry business and in her free time is busy knitting and learning new craft. She comes from a family of teachers and crafts people and brings that knowledge to her research position.

Team Profile Image
RCM: Mariela Jimenez

Mariela is a senior pursuing her degree in Fashion Design. Through her studies she has learned how to create complicated patterns from original designs and hopes to bring these skills involving mathematics to the research. She is also concentrating on Textile Art.

Creativity Labs Alumni

See what our graduates are doing now:

Former Team Members

Former Graduate Research Assistants
Larice Thoroughgood DiAnna Washington
Justin Whiting Christian McKay
Former REU and RET Scholars
Kara Inglehart Kate Kenny Tabitha Bow
Erin Meegan Jaimie Smith Emily Jalkanen
Cassiopeia Winslow Sam Lorentz
Alex Dailey
Former Programmers
Alexander Jacobs Benjamin Zaitlen (quasiben)

The Creativity Labs has partnered with the following groups on recent and current projects:


Contact Us

We design and research new technologies to promote creative learning in youth communities.

Are you interested in the Learning Sciences? The LS faculty are well supported by major US foundations.  Our projects and our students excel when both are well matched.  In addition to the stipend and tuition waiver that comes with all of our assistantships, these projects can help connect you with established professional networks that are key to future success.

Contact Info

The Creativity Labs are located at Indiana University. For more information, contact:

Dr. Kylie Peppler
Eigenmann Hall | Room 528
1900 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, Indiana
47406-7512 | USA

Phone: 812-856-8381

Positions Available

Dr. Kylie Peppler’s team, the Creativity Labs @ Indiana University, is looking for new team members. If this interests you, apply to be a part of our team today!

  • Wanted: Undergrads interested in part-time employment on the NSF-funded ReCrafting Mathematics Project! This project highlights new ways to engage students and educators in mathematical thinking through hands-on crafts, an approach that leverages new tangible manipulatives as “objects-to-think-with” in mathematics education. Undergrads will assist children, document and collect data during implementations, and gain experience with data analysis software. Contact for more information.