Core Team

Hive Research Lab is Rafi Santo, Dr. Dixie Ching, Dr. Kylie Peppler and Dr. Christopher Hoadley.

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.35.18 AMRafi Santo (Project Lead) is an educator, researcher, technologist, activist and most currently a doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences at Indiana University. His research and professional interests focus on the intersection of new media, educational design, interest driven learning and online participatory cultures with a particular eye towards how to leverage these areas to create a more just and democratic society. His work on Hacker Literacies has appeared in journals including International Journal of Learning and Media and Digital Culture & Education, and he is co-author of an upcoming three volume series from MIT Press called Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design, which offers curricular approaches to teaching systems thinking through game design, DIY electronics and digital storytelling. Beyond his research and design work, Santo has an extensive history with digital learning in informal contexts broadly, and the Hive NYC Learning Network specifically, having worked at Global Kids, a founding member of Hive NYC, for the five years prior to his doctoral work. In his existing research on the Hive NYC, he has consulted with the network to help it better understand its research needs and has conducted pilot fieldwork and written early stage publications on the nature of the network as an infrastructure for the development of learning innovations.

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Dr. Dixie Ching (Project Lead) is a post-doctoral researcher within the Educational Communication and Technology program at New York University. A former cell biologist, Dixie has dedicated her career to helping people see the relevance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to their lives and in developing a better informed public through STEM literacy. She has worked on the design and implementation of educational tools and media at various organizations, including the Center for Children & Technology/Education Development Center, Inc., New York Hall of Science, Discovery Communications, WGBH/NOVA, and Beijing Television. In 2011, Dixie was part of a team that was awarded the Collegiate and Impact prizes at the National STEM Video Game Challenge for their math fluency games, including Battleship Numberline. Dixie was able to fully leverage her expertise in research and communication at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, where she oversaw the Center’s research projects and Fellows program and edited the Center’s publications. She has a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, receiving an I.L. Chaikoff Award for the quality of her research and her undergraduate and post-graduate research at UC Berkeley and the National Institutes of Health have resulted in publications in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. She has a master’s degree in Science Journalism from Boston University, which she attended on a GenCorp Foundation scholarship. Dixie serves on the Council of Advisors for the Humanities, Art, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC).

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.36.30 AMDr. Kylie Peppler is an assistant 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. Peppler’s involvement in the study and development of the media-rich programming environment Scratch resulted in the book, The Computer Clubhouse: Creativity and Constructionism in Youth Communities. Peppler has collaborated with Leah Buechley and Yasmin Kafai to study e-textiles and to create new programming tools and an online community (LilyPond) for LilyPad Arduino designers. Her current work on creativity, systems thinking and media arts in youth communities is supported by the National Science Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.37.14 AMDr. Chris Hoadley is associate professor and co-director of NYU’s programs in Educational Communication and Technology, Digital Media Design for Learning, and Games for Learning. He has over 35 years experience designing and building educational technology. Currently his research focuses on collaborative technologies and computer support for cooperative learning (CSCL). Hoadley is the director of dolcelab, the Laboratory for Design Of Learning, Collaboration & Experience. He is an affiliate scholar for the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education (CASEE) and was awarded a Fulbright for 2008-2009 in the South Asia Regional program to study educational technologies for sustainability and empowerment in rural Himalayan villages. Hoadley coined the term “design-based research” and founded the Design-Based Research Collective, funded by the Spencer Foundation. He previously chaired the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group for Education in Science and Technology (now SIG: Learning Sciences), and served as the first president of the International Society for the Learning Sciences. Hoadley earned his baccalaureate in cognitive science from MIT, and a masters in computer science and doctorate in education from UC Berkeley. He previously taught at Stanford University, Mills College and Penn State University in education, computer science and information sciences.

Emma Kolchin-Miller headshot

Emma Kolchin-Miller (data assistant) is a high school senior in Amherst, MA. Her interests in media literacy and education led to her involvement with Hive Research Lab. In her capacity as the team’s data assistant, she transcribes interviews and organizes data. Additionally, she is leading a lab study on the Hive NYC’s online listserv to better understand member participation patterns and trends over time. Emma’s HRL experience has piqued her interest in sociology, which she plans to study in college. Emma’s HRL experience has piqued her interest in sociology, which she plans to study in college.