School of Informatics and Computing Professor Involved in “Cool” Project

January 17, 2014

Media Arts and Science Lecturer C. Thomas Lewis’ “The Cool Bus” project was recently chosen as an Indianapolis Monthly Best of Indy 2013.

The Cool Bus Best of Indy

The Cool Bus, a mobile literary arts center, was crafted from a retro-fitted school bus and brought to life in hopes of connecting area Indianapolis neighborhoods in need of various literary resources – offering classes, writing and tutoring services, and free books. This is a new and inventive way of bringing learning and sharing of ideas and information to the places where kids need it most.

The Cool Bus Concept“Everything about this project just felt right,” said C. Thomas Lewis. By setting up designated routes and coordinating with other educational institutions and nonprofits, the Cool Bus is intended to be the literary center kids in Indianapolis can count on, whether that be for their class on how to create a comic or for questions on a history paper. The goal: create excited learners, better writers, and a more connected Indy.

The Cool Bus team known as The Word on the Street, was awarded ten thousand dollars in April and given an 11 week time frame to complete the project, as part of the Indianapolis Arts and Innovation 5×5 contest through the Indianapolis Foundation and People for Urban progress.

Since project completion in July when they hit the streets, C. Thomas Lewis and the team behind the Cool Bus, which is comprised of community leaders, Kirstin Northenscold, Elizabeth Sparrow, Jamey McPherson, Amalia Wiatr-Lewis, and Chris Hartly, have been getting recognized for their efforts in many different ways; the team presented their mobile learning center at the National Association for Gifted Children conference. Most recently, the Cool Bus team was named a winner in Indianapolis Monthly’s Best of 2013 issue.

Indside The Cool BusAccording to Lewis, the team is currently exploring ways to improve the bus and services provided. “This winter we will be putting together our plans for later in the year. We will continue to develop our work with the Legacy Center’s after-school program, and work with the Indiana Writers Center this summer.”

The Cool Bus is currently seeking student volunteers. For more information contact Thomas Lewis.

For more on the School of Informatics and Computing,                    

For more on the Media Arts and Science program,                            

For more on C. Thomas Lewis,                                                               

For more on the Cool Bus,                                                                       


Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic