ICAT longitudinal study

Purpose of this Research Project

The purpose of the research is to learn more about how you and your child(ren) experience the programs provided by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech. We hope to learn how you and your child(ren) develop critical and creative thinking skills over time. 


ICAT programs are designed to build critical and creative thinking skills. In order to participate in these programs, you must consent to participating in our research. Some programs are designed for parents and children to work together. Others are only for older children. We will collect basic demographic data from you at registration for each program. During the programs you and/or your child(ren) may be photographed and videotaped. Researchers may ask you and/or your child(ren) about the experience and take notes or record the response. Researchers may also observe interactions, including interactions between you and your child(ren). You and/or your children may produce artifacts such as journals, films, photographs, objects, computer programs and files, sculptures, drawings, blogs, and presentations. Any of these artifacts produced during or for ICAT programs may be analyzed for ICAT research. Following most ICAT programs, you and/or your child(ren) will be asked to evaluate the experience using a paper or online questionnaire. Responses to these questionnaires may be analyzed for ICAT research.

Because we are interested in how critical and creative thinking changes over time, we may want to contact you and/or your child(ren) in the years following your participation in ICAT programs. Each time we contact you and/or your child(ren), we will ask whether you would like to continue in the study.

We ask for your consent to participate in our research as part of the registration process for your first program or your first program after we implement this consent process. Your consent allows us to collect data from you at all future programs. If you and your child(ren) have attended previous programs, we request your permission to use photographs, observations, and artifacts from those programs for our analysis.


There are minimal risks to participation in this study. Risks to participants are no greater than the risks associated with attending a public program. In addition, you and/or your child(ren) have the right to withdraw from participation at any time by notifying the researcher in writing or in person of the desire to withdraw.


ICAT programs are designed to build critical and creative thinking skills. Your and/or your child(ren)’s critical and creative thinking skills may improve. The results of this research will inform future programs and educational offerings, as well as contribute to our understanding of how critical and creative thinking skills develop. No promise or guarantee of benefits has been made to encourage you to participate.

Extent of Anonymity and Confidentiality

Information gathered from the study may be used in research reports, presentations, and articles in professional journals. Real names will not be used in research publications. Rather, pseudonyms will be used. With your permission, photographs and video documentation of participants may be used in reports, presentations, and articles of professional journals. Researchers will analyze the images and video recordings to answer research questions. All study materials will be retained for an indefinite period in secure locations. When all project research is complete, the data will be destroyed. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) may view this study’s collected data for auditing purposes.

With your permission, your and/or your child(ren)’s photos and real names may be published in newspapers and online news sources for public relations purposes.


Taking part in this study is voluntary; you will not be compensated for participating in this study.

Freedom to Withdraw

You and your child(ren) are free to withdraw from this study at any time without penalty. You and your child(ren) may choose to not respond to any research questions that you choose. There may be circumstances under which the investigators may determine that you should not continue to be involved in the study.

Questions about the Research

Should you have any pertinent questions about this research or its conduct, contact:

If you have questions about your rights as a participant, please contact: Dr. David Moore, moored@vt.edu, Chair, Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects.