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Could technology help preschoolers form connections? Computer science researchers think so.

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Tablets, smartphones, televisions and other screens inundate the lives of young children. A team of computer science researchers is developing a new approach to technology when it comes to preschool-aged activities.

Juan Pablo Hourcade first published the 3Cs approach to young children's technologies (creating, connecting, communicating) in 2017.

Today, he and a multi-disciplinary team of UI students and faculty are implementing this approach in a program called StoryCarnival, which helps adults support children in pretend play sessions. Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Hourcade and senior research student Flannery Currin about this project.

Also, the announcement of Iowa Wesleyan University's closure this spring has rocked the lives of its students, staff and the Mount Pleasant community. It also impacts the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra, as the campus is home to their offices, rehearsal space and one of their main performance hubs.

Despite that uncertainty, the ensemble is preparing for a sure-to-be memorable finale of their 72nd season this weekend.


  • Juan Pablo Hourcade, professor of computer science, University of Iowa
  • Flannery Currin, senior doctoral student, University of Iowa
  • Robert McConnell, conductor and music director, Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra
  • Jeffrey Phillips, executive director and principal second violin, Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.