Get Creative in the C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab

SC Staff Writer

The C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab, located in Stroud Hall 107, is a place where students can go to break away for a moment from their regular studies, and to work creatively in a project-based way with color and light.

The acronym, C.R.E.A.T.E., stands for several different initiatives.

Connect ideas, feelings, and people through playful, challenging, collaborative inquiry.

Realize the curious and creative potentials within and across individuals and disciplines.

Engage body, heart, mind, and hands to create powerful, innovative ideas about teaching and learning.

Attend to the aesthetic, sustainable, and imaginative qualities of our natural and global environment.

Transform thinking through critical and creative problem posing, problem solving, sharing and feedback

Expand possibilities by listening, documenting, and curating our discoveries through multiple literacies and technologies.

The C.R.E.A.T.E. lab was born when three professors from the ESU College of Education and two students traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy to study its education system.

They wondered if it would be possible to bring this kind of creative educational approach to ESU.

“The goal is to really involve faculty and students across campus,” said Dr. Pinciotti, Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, who is one of the faculty members that runs the lab.

Other faculty members who created and continue to make the lab function are Dr. Cavanaugh, Professor of Special Education, Nancy Daniels, a community educator, Dr. Mazure, Professor of Art, and Dr. Otto, Professor of Media Communication and Technology.

When people come to the lab, they are shown what kinds of projects related to color and light are available for them to work on.

There are many different projects for students to explore such as painting, making collages, working on the lab’s light box, doing science experiments involving color and light, and much more.

The lab also works with social media outlets such as Instagram so students can display their work online.

Faculty advisors will also post pictures on the C.R.E.A.T.E. lab website to display students’ artwork.

Sometimes whole classes will go to the lab to undertake artistic projects.

One project that the lab has been doing is called “ESU Sees Color.”

Every week, students post artwork on Instagram highlighting a specific color that relates to the university.

The lab itself is decorated with all kinds of assorted colors that invite students to divulge in creative activity.

The walls are painted with oranges, blues, purples, reds, and yellows.

It is filled with varying art materials, posters displaying information on color and light, and students’ artwork.

Even the furniture has a kind of artsy quality to it.

Dr. Pinciotti described the room as a kind of “healing space” that produces a creative mindset.

“It’s housed in the education mentality here, but we really have crossed campus, in terms of not only students, but also reaching out to faculty and different disciplines,” said Dr. Pinciotti.

The lab has worked with faculty members from different areas such as communications, art, and philosophy.

The lab has not only expanded campus-wide at ESU, but it is also expanding across state lines.

On Thursday, November 14, the lab worked in a virtual environment with a graduate level Arts Integration class from the University of Illinois—using technology from the Innovation Center.

Another important part of what happens at the lab is that upon finishing their projects, students document their work and write reflections on what they have created.

“It lets the learner see what they have learned and interprets the level or the kinds of experiences people had when they were going through the process, and their products and what they’ve made,” said Dr. Pinciotti.

The C.R.E.A.T.E. lab will be holding an art exhibit in the lab in Stroud Hall sometime after Thanksgiving.

It will feature information on how the lab got started, display student artwork, and will also feature some hands-on work.

Students are highly encouraged to stop by anytime on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 AM to 4 PM, or to visit the lab’s Instagram.

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