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Harnessing the power of immersive, informal education

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Who We Are

ContemPlace is a non-profit organization working to promote multidisciplinary learning and creative problem-solving strategies. We synthesize research in a wide range of disciplines, including economics, history, and neuroscience to create educational models. We test those frameworks through focus group research, which we consequently use to design immersive, accessible learning environments and experience-driven educational programming.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

We seek to inspire students to envision a more democratic, sustainable, and just future by engaging them in hands-on, experiential learning.

Building on decades of work as leaders in the field of experience design, ContemPlace brings a comprehensive methodology otherwise lacking in many civic engagement initiatives. Our approach and research circumvents the arena of divisive, binary debate by identifying foundational heuristics that aid in the detection of misinformation and encourage open-mindedness. More than 40 years of practice connecting with diverse audiences informs our ability to create transformative experiences and facilitate collective, creative problem solving.

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ContemPlace's educational model was developed through years of interdisciplinary research. It is based on the understanding that humans beings think with our brains, bodies, environments, technologies and with one another. Foundationally, our work is influenced by Jeff Hawkins' A Thousand Brains and Iain McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary. Philosopher John Dewey's vision of progressive education also informs the application of our work

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The Thirteen American Arguments
The Future of the Mind The Scientific Quest to Understand Enhance and Empower the Mind
Completing Capitalism
City Making Building Communities
Cognitive Surplus
Bright Infinite Future A Generational Memoir on the Progressive Rise


Our schooling, informal or otherwise, no longer needs to focus on facts and rote learning, but about where facts come from and how they come to us.  Our approach the superficiality of experience and what happened, and explores the deeper, more fundamental aspects as to why and how things happen

Vermont Prepares for Mandatory Personalized Learning Plan for All
The Secret to a Good Robot Teacher
Teens, Video Games, and Civics
Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart
Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts Charting the Future of Teaching the Past
My Pedagogic Creed
How to Find Out Anything  From Extreme Google Searches to Scouring Government Documents a
Museums and Education Purpose Pedagogy Performance


Individuals need to become proficient in more than reading, writing, and arithmetic, but specific skills of apprehension and action, that together constitute civic literacy

The Shallows What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Turing’s Man Western Culture in the Computer Age
What Type Am I Discover Who You Really Are copy
The Periodic Table Its Story and Its Significance
The Master and His Emissary The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
The Invisible Gorilla How Our Intuitions Deceive Us
The Ghost Map The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic and How It Changed Science Ci
Making Up the Mind How the Brain Creates Our Mental World
How Emotions Are Made
A Thousand Brains A New Theory of Intelligence
Linked  How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business Scie
Judgment Under Uncertainty Heuristics and Biases


The below authors provide insights into human cognition and the ways in which individuals navigate and understand the world around them. They provide us with models for understanding these constructions and identify the inflection points where education can be most effective



Applications for a more equitable and just future

John Dewey maintained that the ideal form of learning is through active participation. To achieve active learning, ContemPlace has developed a five-step model of experience design: Engagement, Empowerment, Exposition, Exploration, and Extended Embrace. Our goal is to create stand-alone educational experiences as well as supplement existing cultural institutions

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When we encounter new information, each of us brings our unique perspective to the table. It is the greatest challenge of any museum or educator to meet diverse learners where they are and ignite a curiosity to delve deeper

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We understand the world through narratives and models. The core function of most museums is to curate narratives by distilling what is essential and consequential. An empowered visitor understands the connections between narrative, context, models, and data

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Extended Embrace

With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. Our goal is to make meaningful change in our communities by facilitating engagement with real world challenges and working toward systemic, sustainable solutions

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Actively engaging with new material through collective, creative problem solving helps solidify and reinforce learning. Our Explorers Guild program will enable learners to engage in critical analysis and group decision making to grapple with a consequential issue

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Perspectives are molded by lived experiences and moral foundations. This reality can be empowering, but it also serves as a significant challenge for curators and educators who wish to convey complex concepts. It is the task of the museum or educator to lower the threshold of entry while challenging preconceived notions of an idea


The ability to recognize patterns or preconceptions in one’s own thought processes can help lead to more nuanced perspectives and better decision making. 32 Degrees is our unique approach to initiating the synthesis of complex ideas

Lets Connect
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Lets Connect

If you have questions, comments or feedback, feel free to submit them on this page or reach out to us at

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Tel. : 816 . 354 . 4904  ||  Email :

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