Study of Lead (Pb) in Muncie (ongoing)


Spring 2020: Urban Health in Muncie, IN:  Pb in the Soils

Lead (Pb) is a dangerous neurotoxin especially harmful to children,and residents in Delaware County have blood lead levels testing at three times the national average. A 2018 immersive project mapped locations where blood levels were high and sampled local soils.In this year’s immersive project,“Urban Health in Muncie, IN: Pb in Soils,”students looking for the location of potential lead sources. The goal of the project was for students and the United Way of Delaware, Henry, and Randolph Counties to better understand why, despite proven access to lead-free water, local children have higher-than average blood concentrations of lead.

Faculty Mentors: Carolyn Dowling, Jessi Haeft
Departments: Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources
Community Partners: United Way of Delaware, Henry, and Randolph Counties
Students: Emma Altimus, Brady Andres, Cameron Bell, Joseph Hall, Jordan Lee, Katryn Lods, Patrick Ollier, Erin Powell, Elizabeth Riester, Ignacio Rodriguez, Quentin Simpson, Matt Stickler, Drew Toombs, Luke Vanderveen, and Gunnar Young

Fall 2018: Preliminary Study of Lead (Pb) in Muncie (PSLM)

Lead (Pb) is a persistent neurotoxin, and over 7% of population tested in Muncie and Delaware County has elevated blood lead levels (BLL), ~3x greater than the national average (2.5%). Through research and analysis, students in this project hoped to find the source(s) of lead that is driving these high BLL in Muncie/Delaware County. The students wrote a final report that summarized their high-impact community research project and recommended the next steps to continue the project, and presented their findings to United Way of Delaware County.

Faculty Mentors: Carolyn Dowling, Jessi Haeft
Departments: Geological Sciences, Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Community Partners: United Way of Delaware County
Students: Ben Azar, Allison Bolser, Peter Danzl-Tauer, Chelsea Eickleberry, Maryssa Engstrom, Adeline Evans, Sam Fields, Kerragon Garab, Hannah Gastineau, Adrion Gibson, Henry David Isenberg, Tony Keller, Josh Kiler, Angela Lankford, Jennifer Loyal, Andy Riley,Rose Snyder, Sarah Wilber, Julia Ysidron

School Safety, Data-Driven Evidence- Based Findings, and Recommendations

The project was three-pronged and involved conducting school security audits, mentoring at-risk students, and the observation of the work of School Resource Officers (SROs). Students generated items for an audit instrument, planned and carried out their mentoring activities, and provided observational analyses of their SRO time. The product for this project was a formal presentation to the community partners.

Faculty Mentors: Bryan Byers
Departments: Criminal Justice and Criminology
Community Partners: Muncie Community Schools, Burris Laboratory School
Students: TJ Brown, Elizabeth Cassady, Andrew Chapman, Joel Donovan, Paige Eacret, Daniel Etchison, Samantha Kridler, Lindsey Rainbolt, Mario Rodriguez

Serious Game Design with Minnetrista

Student working on game design at a laptop

Spring 2019: A multidisciplinary team of undergraduates has worked with Minnetrista to develop an original, interactive, educational video game about food preservation. We have tied our research and development process into Minnetrista’s revision of Oakhurst, the historic home where the original Ball Blue Book canning recipes were developed. The team worked together to create a game for families who visit the museum, to get them working together in an exciting simulation of canning.

Fall 2018: The students in this semester’s Honors Colloquium on Serious Game Design worked with Minnetrista to create original games that explore regional history, culture, and themes. The students began the semester by studying fundamentals of game design with an emphasis on transformative and educational games. This included a formal analysis of Minnetrista Fairy Trails, a game created by an immersive learning course in Spring 2018. In the second half of the semester, each student identified a particular theme to explore through iterative game design and produced the playable prototypes that are presented at the showcase. Between semesters, faculty and staff from Ball State and Minnetrista will evaluate what was learned this semester to choose a project for production in a Spring game software production studio course.

Spring 2019

Faculty Mentors: Paul Gestwicki
Departments: Computer Science
Community Partners: Minnetrista Cultural Center
Students: Jawad Al Mamoon, Lauren Binnewies, Chris Bucker, Gabrielle Hogan, Makayla Hughes, Nick Manis, Lindsey Murphy, Eli Sokeland, Tanner Stanley, Austin Tinkel, Hunter Wallace, Julie Xiao

Fall 2018

Faculty Mentors: Paul Gestwicki
Departments: Computer Science
Community Partners: Minnetrista Cultural Center
Students: Ryland Babusiak, Lexi Benakovich, Katie Grieze, Nathan Hahn, Zachary Hughes, Sarah Humphrey, Kyle Jones, Ariel Meece, Mathias Miles, Eve Miller, Alex Ross, Samantha Stapleton, Christopher Zurisk

Scenery in Space

In this project, a diverse group of students partnered with Muncie Civic Theatre to assist in the development of stock scenery. This scenery will be used within their regular production season and will be a significant upgrade in safety and efficiency over their current stock.

Faculty Mentors: Kerry Chipman, Mickie Marie
Departments: Theatre and Dance
Community Partners: Muncie Civic Theatre
Students: Sam Buchholz, Kathryn Burke, Chrstine Gordon, Jade Grady, Madeleine Hollinger, Jay Jeffcoat, Kali Marquart, Nicholas Maurer, Carlee Miller, Logan Niccum, Amanda Pecora, Laura Pierson, Amber Riggle, Mitch Smolek, Valerie Stoffer, Ashley Talcott

Reading the Wor(l)d Critical Literacy and Culturally Responsive Classroom Libraries

Research affirms the power of culturally relevant literature and practice (Clark 2017), yet, the International Literacy Association (2018) reports that equity in literacy, diversity, and access to diverse content are the most pressing issues in K-12 schools, acknowledging that teachers are unprepared to address these challenges. This project addressed this preparation gap. Pre-service teacher candidates worked with classroom teachers, students, and community members to design classroom libraries containing a robust collection of culturally relevant texts.

Faculty Mentors: Kristin Cipollone, Susan Tancock
Departments: Elementary Education
Community Partners: Whitely Community Council, Longfellow Elementary School
Students: Keaton Bailey, Miranda Berry, Sarah Black, Sydney Chaney, Kayla DeRemer, Alyssa Flanagan, Olivia Ford, Jordan Fuerstenau, Ashlin Hair, Kaylie Johnston, Hannah Lockington, Hailey Maupin, Sarah Meyer, Alison Schwartz, Bre’Anna Serf, Makenzie Smith, Michaela Strahm, Kortney Thalls

Muncie Arts and Culture Council Video Project

Local art projects are a way for communities to create dialogue, share cultural experiences, solve problems and build relationships that enhance quality of place and local economic development efforts. Part of the Muncie Art and Culture Council’s (MACC) mission is to serve as an arts alliance that builds community among artists and arts organizations, and is a resource for professional growth and opportunity among Muncie artists. In this project, student teams created video to help MACC document Plyspace, its artist-in-residence program and promote other local art projects.

Faculty Mentors: Suzanne Plesha, Tim Pollard
Departments: Immersive Learning, Telecommunications
Community Partners: Muncie Arts and Culture Council
Students: Oscar Arriaga, Jacob Barajas, Matt Carson, Jason Franchville, Connor Hillestad, Grant Mountcastle, Benjamin Ritter, Melody Smith, Parker Stewart, Mason Whitis