Activity stations blend discovery, imagination at Leonardo exhibit

April 7, 2015

Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination has designed a number of activity stations that are integrated into Phoenix Art Museum's "Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester and the Power of Observation" exhibit.

The stations encourage visitors to engage in critical and creative thinking and making, and the activities are designed to provide hands-on experiences for visitors to explore a key theme of the exhibit: thinking on paper. The exhibit is on view at the museum through April 12. Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum Download Full Image

“This collaboration with CSI (Center for Science and the Imagination) provides a nice opportunity for visitors to practice what they learn in the exhibition about the intersection of curiosity, observation and thinking through ideas. Including interactive elements like these in the gallery context can reinforce concepts in the moment,” said Kathryn Blake, The Gerry Grout Education director at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The three interactive stations blend scientific discovery with creative expression:

Codex Word Play provides an opportunity to explore the Codex Leicester and Leonardo’s ideas about water through a mad libs-style exercise, and presents an analog complement to a digital interactive for translating the Codex.

Codex Middle Word challenges visitors to synthesize ideas by imagining words that illuminate connections between them. This activity is an attempt to give visitors a sense of Leonardo's unique, non-linear style of reasoning.

Create Your Own Codex prompts visitors to create a codex featuring their own observations about the natural world around them. This station encourages visitors to see the world through Leonardo’s endlessly curious eyes.

The activities were designed by Max Evjen, a specialist in the field of informal science education, in collaboration with Blake and Nina Miller, design strategist at the Center for Science and the Imagination.

“We designed these activity stations to provide fun, reflective, kinesthetic learning experiences that encourage visitors to explore the modes of thought that Leonardo employed to create the Codex Leicester,” said Evjen. “We think everyone will enjoy these opportunities to think like Leonardo.”

“In designing these activities, I wanted to build in elements of physical interaction with the ideas. Leonardo was a tinkerer and maker, as well as a philosopher and scientist,” said Miller. “My goal in the design was to help people to think in a non-linear way, inspired by Leonardo’s unique cognitive style.”

Evjen and researchers from ASU's Center for Science and the Imaginiation are working together to conduct research on how the activities affect people's experiences in the exhibition, including how they learn about art and science and understand Leonardo’s unique approach to scientific curiosity, observation and cognition. The research will also evaluate what elements of the exhibition visitors find most engaging, and analyze people's creative work at the activity stations to explore new ideas and connections that the exhibition helped to bring about.

Admission to the exhibition is included in general admission to Phoenix Art Museum. For more information visit

Joey Eschrich

program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination


Research on victimization earns student distinguished graduate award

April 7, 2015

Jillian Turanovic wants to find out how people cope after becoming victims of crime.

The doctoral student was chosen by the ASU Faculty Women's Association as one of four Arizona State University graduate students to earn its Distinguished Graduate Student Achievement Award for 2015. Jillian Turanovic, second from right, with her award Download Full Image

Turanovic, who is studying in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, a part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, worked with victims through a police agency in her native Canada while an undergraduate student. That experience gave her a better understanding of the ways in which victimization impacts people's lives.

Her doctoral dissertation, “The Age-Graded Consequences of Victimization,” examines the negative effects victimization has on people of different ages. Her research earned Turanovic a National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship.

"Her scholarship has pushed the field in new directions to think about how the consequences of victimization may vary based on life course stage," criminology professor Kevin Write wrote in his is nomination of Turanovic for the award. "Specifically, she argues that coping styles and support resources may change as individuals age, which may lead to different consequences based on age at victimization."

Wright is a member of Turanovic's dissertation committee and has worked with her on a couple research projects. He notes that Turanovic's research has appeared in some of the top journals and has already been cited more than 100 times. And her impact goes beyond academics as Turanovic has volunteered with community restoration projects, taught a course on domestic violence to female inmates at the Perrville state prison and served on a community panel that focused on bullying in schools.

“I am extremely proud of Jillian for winning this award," says Wright. "She has worked very hard to establish herself as a distinguished graduate student, and I am happy to see that this has been recognized by the ASU Faculty Women’s Association.”

Turanovic credits the mentoring she received from professors in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice as well as the opportunity to publish articles as a master's level student. She knows she wouldn't have received the award if not for the nomination letters sent in by Kevin Wright and fellow graduate students Chantal Fahmy Andrea Andrea Borrego and Laura Beckman.

"I am so humbled and honored to have won this award," says Turanovic. "There were so many talented and accomplished students that were nominated across the university, and I am so grateful to have been recognized among them."

Turanovic will earn her doctorate in criminology and criminal justice this spring. She has already been hired as an assitant professor by Florida State University. She starts in the fall of 2015.

Distinguished Graduate Students Award Recipients:
  • Ashleigh Gonzales, Masters Student, Biology and Society, School of Life Science
  • Natalie Peartree, Doctoral Student, Behavioral Neuroscience, Department of Psychology
  • Jillian Turanovic, Doctoral Student, Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Kerrie-Ann Wilkins, Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology, Counseling and Counseling Psychology
Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions