Assistant Professor of Psychology Brenna Hassinger-Das is making waves in the field of education. She is the driving force behind Urban Thinkscape, which creates fun and engaging spaces for “playful learning” in inner-city environments, such as puzzles on the back wall of a bus stop. Funded by a $500,000 grant, the project was piloted in West Philadelphia. Pace students have been working with Hassinger-Das to enter and analyze data to determine whether engagement in Urban Thinkscape spaces translates to school success and benefits mental, emotional, and physical health.The work has caught the attention of Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, which now includes it in its portfolio of projects. In May 2018, Hassinger-Das and her team received a Top Idea in Early Childhood Innovation Prize by Gary Community Investments and OpenIDEO. Looking ahead, she plans to expand the program by creating similar projects in New York and other cities.
This Serious About Play article was originally posted as a featured story in Spring 2018. Visit the Dyson College website to view the complete article.