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Dr.Petitto and BL2 Participate in the VL2 Science of Learning Center’s 4th Annual Knowledge Festival

Professor Petitto and BL2 Participate in the VL2 Science of Learning Center’s Fourth Annual Knowledge Festival


May 15, 2019


Professor Laura-Ann Petitto and the wonderful BL2 team of amazing researchers were thrilled to participate in the 2019 VL2 Science of Learning Center’s 4th Annual Knowledge Festival.

For the VL2 Center, Petitto created this year’s VL2 Knowledge Festival theme to be “The Creative Side of Science Discovery.” Petitto (VL2 Co-PI, Science Director) was inspired to create this theme so as to pay homage to Gallaudet University’s proposed creative community project, called “Creativity Way.”


The Creativity Way project is planned to be built beginning with a new corner building on 6th Street and Florida Avenue and continuing on the Gallaudet side up to Union Market with an activity-packed “Way.”


Petitto has been an active member of the Creativity Way Steering Committee team and serves as its Academic Co-Director (with Ben Bahan) to create the project’s Academic Programs, including its planned innovative “Knowledge Studios” (or “Discovery Zones” where the community and researchers co-discover and learn new knowledge that empowers them to enter the demands of the 21st Century world to come).


All VL2 and PhD in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) program labs contributed to the 2019 Knowledge Festival, each with (1) concrete demonstrations of the past year’s key discoveries, (2) highlights showing how each discovery made important and tangible contributions to society (especially the education of young deaf children) and (3) activities for the public that provided all viewers with exciting examples of the type of stunningly creative learning innovations and translational products that VL2 will share when it leads one of Gallaudet’s Creativity Way “discovery zones” (or, Knowledge Studios), called “The Child and Family Discovery Center.”

The Child and Family Discovery Center is proposed to be housed in the corner building at Florida Ave and 6th Street. To heighten the verisimilitude of the experience for audience members, Petitto consulted with the Belfast Architects who designed Gallaudet’s corner building (Hall McKnight Architects, Belfast).


With the floor plan of the proposed new corner building in hand, Petitto situated the layout of the VL2 labs in this year’s 2019 Knowledge Festival venue (i.e., The Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel) such that it matched (and simulated) what the public would experience when they would enter the corner building’s Child and Family Discovery Center.


The 2019 Knowledge Festival was wonderfully successful. Participants reported that they had a fascinating time in which they witnessed 21st Century science and technology innovations with the translational impact to catapult young deaf and hearing children’s learning.

Below we provide a tiny example of what BL2 shared.


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