Source: Jessica Barrett Sattell, HIghlights-SAIC

Three transparent boxes holding electronic sensors to read temperature, humidity, and air quality each spent a week in the urban research field of the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago's South Side—one buried in a garden, another carried on walks around city streets, and the last situated within a local house. Built and monitored under the careful watch of seven Chicago public high school students who call the area home, the devices pulled environmental data as raw material to intimately examine the unseen elements of how cities grow and change.

Returning to their classroom laboratory at the University of Chicago, the group, apprehensive and excited, waited to see if their assigned devices had collected successfully. Douglas Pancoast, Director of SAIC's Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration and Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, popped out each box's SD card and projected files containing lines upon lines of text on a large monitor.

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