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We're Pretty Sure It's Not Just Us...

The longer days and more-frequent sunbeams are giving us ENERGY! We're hoping you feel the same. Stretch out, get comfortable, and read on to find out what we were up to this week - as well as get a look ahead. 


Last call! This year’s Hack For Animal Health, presented by SCD and the College of Veterinary Medicine with the University Library, is *next week*. The challenge for this year’s hack: Solving for anxiety in dogs – it's a much more common problem for our canine pals than most people realize. Get your team registered now, or register solo and join a team at the hack – all disciplines/majors are more than welcome.

The bonus? Not only will your participation contribute to novel solutions for helping very good (but rather anxious) boys and girls, there are  ***CASH PRIZES*** for the best ideas. More info and a link to register are here


Every year, University Laboratory High School on the U of I campus takes a break from the February grind to offer students a week’s worth of classes that have nothing to do with their usual course schedules. Class topics for these "Agora Days" have included everything from film screenwriting to cooking to integrating art and technology, and are often taught by people from outside Uni High.

This week, SCD post-doc research associate Saad Shehab (alongside Uni High chemistry teacher David Bergandine), taught “Introducing the Human-Centered Design Approach to School Projects” as part of 2020's Agora Days. The goal: Teach high school students about human-centered design so they can use this approach when working on any school project. Students were engaged all week in hands-on collaborative activities, leading to a proposed update to the school's student kitchen space. “I've never seen students engaged in group activities as much as they are when participating in human-centered design to solve relevant, real-life problems," says Shehab. "Participating in Agora Days promotes our understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with bringing human-centered design to K-12 classrooms - and this helps us advance our mission to teach design thinking and using human-centered design to re-imagine our campus, community and collective world."


A roof, windows, a literal “inside” – AMAZING progress has been made on the new building this winter, thanks to a) the tireless work of the folks doing the construction and b) a relatively mild winter. Many thanks to the folks at Clayco, our A+ general contractor leading the construction effort, for giving us a very recent glimpse of the activity at (and in!) our building site. When will we get to move in? Time will tell, but the Magic 8-Ball says “Outlook good” for early June. 

Leap Day Office Hours

REMINDER: We encourage you to attend Office Hours hours this Leap Day! The Boss (SCD’s director, Rachel Switzky), will be available to talk about all things SCD on Saturday, February 29 from 1-2 PM at Art Mart in Champaign. In addition to answering your questions, she'll offer up some details our plans for the next few months – things are, um, hopping around here! ;)
Here’s the tentative Office Hours schedule for the remainder of the semester:
Friday, 3/27, 1:30-2:30 PM: Location TBA
Saturday, 4/25, 1-2 PM: Location TBA
Friday, 5/1, 1:30-2:30 PM: Location TBA

SCD Concierge Service: On Tour!

Benjamin, Amaury, and others from the SCD team continue their pop-up tour of the U of I campus. What's it all about? They're prototyping our future concierge service -  the idea is to prompt curious visitors (you, for example) to talk about what they wish for - and then provide guidance toward SCD and broader campus resources to help them achieve their aims. Keep checking back for added dates and locations!


2/26: 10AM - 5PM - Siebel Center for Computer Science
3/2: 10AM - 5PM - Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Lobby
3/10: 10AM - 5PM - BIF Atrium
3/26: 10AM – 5 PM – ECE Building
3/31: 10AM – 5 PM – ECE Building
4/7: 10AM – 5 PM - ECE Building
4/13: 10AM - 5PM - BIF Atrium
Enjoy the weekend, friends. Spring is on its way!
- The team at SCD
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