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Projecting Particles: Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics

MARCH 2017

A Spring 2017 workshop called Particle Physics Meets Lakota Cosmology is currently being designed for students at Taos Integrated School for the Arts (TISA) and we plan to take the workshop to multiple schools in New Mexico. Through a collaboration with Lakota Cultural Specialist, Steve Tamayo and CERN physicist Dr. Steven Goldfarb, students will explore the origins of the universe through Native American cosmology and particle physics experiments at CERN.  This project is part of the Projecting Particles series whose mission is to use art to explore the important discoveries in particle physics that are expanding our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe.

Students learn about the origins of the universe through particle physics and participate in a virtual tour from the ATLAS Experiment in Geneva Switzerland, led by CERN physicist Dr. Steven Goldfarb. They then participate in a hands-on Tipi making and Dreamcatcher workshop with Lakota Cultural Specialist, Steve Tamayo to learn about Lakota cosmology. Students create stories that explore their micro-macro connection to the universe and the stars, correlating physics concepts to the big bang, black holes and constellations. Finally they learn projection mapping with Agnes Chavez to animate their stories with light on to a 24′ Tipi, and share their work with the community through a public event.

We are living in what is now being called the ‘Golden Age of Cosmology’ and cutting edge science and technology is revealing expanded understandings about ourselves and our universe that converge with indigenous cosmology. Exploring the correlations of indigenous cosmology to modern science through art making is a powerful way to increase understanding of radically new science concepts while building appreciation for the significance of indigenous cosmology and worldview.

I am currently working with Steve Tamayo and Steven Goldfarb on the curriculum design. Follow this blog for updates and please contact us if you are a school interested in this workshop.

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ARTAOS + TISA: Augmented Reality Mural at Ziggy’s Frozen Yogurt Shop


 
As part of TISA’s new STEAM Lab, Amber McCabe’s 8th grade class participated in an Augmented Reality (AR) Mural Work/Study Project providing real-world community focused learning of STEAM skills. AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world. This exciting semester long project inaugurated spring 2017 and is now open so stop by for some augmented reality and frozen yogurt!
 

How it Happened

 
Co-founders, Bowe Ellis and Steve Kennebeck are the founders of Ziggy’s, a new froyo shop in Taos (Next to Taos Java) and approached me to see if STEMarts Lab could coordinate students to paint a mural for the shop. STEMarts Lab brings artists into schools through interdisciplinary collaborations that integrate art, science, and technology through social practice. For this project, we brought in artists, Jason Rodriguez and Aya Trevino of ARTAOS who had been exploring AR technology to work with the TISA kids. They worked with Ziggy’s owners to design the interior space of the new frozen yogurt store and engaged students in the process. Students helped to design and create an Augmented Reality (AR) mural that makes the whole space interactive. By pointing your smartphone or iPad at the painted mural on the walls, animated images pop off the wall for a fun and surreal 3D experience. The main star of the mural is Ziggy, the adorable pug of owner, Bowe Ellis. Yogurt will never be the same!
 

 

STEAM Lab@TISA ‘Design Thinking’ in Action

 
In line with TISA’s ‘Design Thinking‘ methodology, students were involved in all aspects of the production, from visiting the space and meeting the “clients”, to developing the concept, to designing the technology that creates an augmented reality experience for visitors.  Through this project students understand the impact that art, science, and technology can have in our society and our community. The AR Mural project aligns with Core Arts standards, 21st Century standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.
 
This project provided invaluable real world STEAM skills;

  • Business skills by working with a client to design a site specific installation (Site Visit, measurement, space planning, client communications)
  • Design and critical thinking skills to explore new approaches to image making, including designing stencils and laser cut vinyl patterns.
  • Project planning such as identifying design constraints (budget, materials, copyright, technology)
  • Learning cutting edge technology skills to create augmented reality experiences. (Define still image (trigger) criteria vs AR imagery (overlay)
  • Collaboration with UNM Digital Media facilitators, Peter Walker and Enrico Trujillo, and their art students to access advanced technologies to realize their ideas.i.e. 3-D animation and green screen video making.
  • Building of scale model of site to consider floor, ceiling, counters, safe zones, etc.


 
For year two of the AR Mural project, students will have the opportunity to become AR Technology teachers  to new students who will create changing animations for the mural. The STEAM Lab@TISA is all about teaching and modeling collaboration and in this spirit TISA will invite other schools in the community to participate providing a series of school exhibits of AR animations created by Taos county youth. Please contact us if interested. learn@sube.com
 
This TISA project was made possible through a partnership with ARTAOS, Ziggy’s Yogurt Shop founders; Bowe Ellis and Steve Kennebeck, and a Paseo Project collaboration with UNM Digital Media Arts.

Augmented Reality for K-3rd graders!


 
TISA K-3rd grade teachers also got in on the action! Through a series of professional development sessions we trained the TISA teachers on how to use the Quiver app to delight their students with the magic of AR at an early age. Kids hacked the coloring pages to discover the trigger and overlays and then integrated them into paintings and sculptures to learn how to design with the virtual and real. The teachers shared what they learned at the Twirl Invent Event with an AR station of their own design.
 
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Launch of STEAM Innovation Lab at Local Taos School

We are excited to announce that the launch of a STEAM Innovation Lab at the Taos Integrated School of the Arts in Taos, New Mexico is underway. STEMarts Lab founder, Agnes Chavez, is working with Richard Greywolf and Megan Avina Bowers to design a STEAM Lab that will launch TISA students and teachers into the 21st century.

The Lab will be based on the STEMarts Lab model developed in 2009 and which has been implemented through multiple platforms, from new media art festivals such as ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness and The Paseo, to national and international science events, such as the Los Alamos STEM Challenge and the ATLAS@CERN Projecting Particles project.

For the past three years TISA has participated in the STEMarts Lab youth program@The Paseo Youth program where students have gotten a taste of this unique STEAM approach. They experience cutting edge technologies and science through the lens of new media artists, and collaborate with the artist to create participatory art for Taos’ exciting new festival, The Paseo. In 2015, NY based artist, CHiKA, engaged students in a video mapping marathon that was part of the festival and this year students worked with The Illuminator, an art collective that works with light projections as a means of political expression, environmental transformation, and public discourse. We will integrate an ongoing series of Projecting Particles workshops in collaboration with ATLAS@CERN that will keep students abreast of the latest discoveries in particle physics, and through art, better understand how these discoveries expand our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe.

We have partnered with TWIRL to integrate their exciting STEAM activities, and are looking forward to collaborating with other emerging Maker spaces and activities to create a community-focused laboratory for exploration. The STEAM Innovation Lab at TISA will continue to offer these unique interdisciplinary collaborations but will also provide teachers with year long opportunities to learn about and integrate cutting edge technologies into their own curriculum topics.

Some unique features of the Lab include, A 21st Century Materials and Resource Library, a multi-functional space that allows for multiple intelligence exploration, and a VR biofeedback room that focuses on social emotional intelligence. The TISA STEAM Lab will have a strong emphasis on science concepts, creativity and innovation, personal reflection and growth, and social practice as the foundation to all technological explorations. For more information contact learn@sube.com.

 

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TISA Kids Support Standing Rock Kids through Art

 

Students from TISA’s 5-8th grade classrooms participated in the Water is Life: Standing Rock project this November. Through art and social engagement they  learned about the growing movement in Standing Rock North Dakota working to protect our water resources and sacred lands threatened by the  construction of the Dakota Pipeline.  Students received a special visit from Christopher Lujan from Taos Pueblo who has been on the Frontline and helping out at the Camp for the past months. They learned first hand what is happening there and reflected on the issues that are coming to the surface from this civil action. Chris helped them explore their own slogans around the topic of water, indigenous rights and 1st amendment rights. Students then worked with local artist, Jason Rodriguez of ARTAOS, to design and print vinyl banners  12 donated by Taos News, as well as 8 t-shirts. The project culminated when STEAM Coordinator, Agnes Chavez, hand delivered the banners and t-shirts to the Oceti Sakowin school, elders, and the International Indigenous Youth Council. Photos and videos from this exchange were shared with the students so they could see the joy and impact of their gesture.

WATCH THE VIDEO

The project is part of TISA’s new STEAM Lab which explores not only the cool technologies, but also the ethical considerations and impact of science and technology on our society and environment.  According to the Next Generation Science Standards, students must learn, “Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.   Energy and fuels humans use are derived from natural sources and their use affects the environment. Some resources are renewable over time, others are not. Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things. Activities and technologies can be engineered to reduce people’s impacts on Earth.”

The Water is Life: Standing Rock project provided a real world understanding of this core concept through art and direct social engagement. Stay tuned for more interdisciplinary projects from the STEAM Lab@TISA.

Twirl’s Light Play in collaboration with TISA’s new STEAM Lab

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We launched the new STEAM Lab at the Taos School of Integrated Arts with a series of Twirl workshops. Students from grades K-5 participated in Light Play, which allows them to play, explore and make discoveries with light. They learn how it bends, bounces and blends with the help of lenses and mirrors; along with color-combining and shadow play. They investigate what happens to light when it encounters various materials, allowing them to experience scientific concepts through light play. The result is an art project that brings to life the science of light through the creation of shadow puppets for a collaborative classroom mobile.

light-playSTEAM Lab @TISA aims to provide year round programming designed to support and engage TISA’s teachers and students in grades K–8 with culturally sensitive and age-appropriate workshops, activities and technology that combine Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art as Social Practice. The methodology will be guided by the STEMarts Model which builds on eight years of successful STEM+art curriculum design. The leading innovation is the foundational principle that authentic and meaningful integration of science and art as social practice results in deeper learning, greater student engagement by students in both science and art, and the creative application of science and technology in their lives and in their communities. Activities are always ‘maker focusedʼ and revolve around project-based design challenges delivered by artists, scientists or interdisciplinary guests in collaboration with classroom teachers.

Building from this unique starting point, the instructional design model intentionally connects the STEMarts Learning Model’s four pillars of instructional design to key activities and tools in order to impact student learning and attitudes, while enhancing their self esteem and feeling of purpose in the world.

steam_pillars-flowchart_2017

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Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA

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MAY 2016

I am in my second year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA,  whose mission is to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. We make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. I am also part of a growing demographic  of  ‘older adults’ serving within the AmeriCorps program, known more commonly as a learning opportunity for youth.   Add to the mix that I am also an artist contributing a unique skill set that is not normally associated with AmeriCorps service and you might be asking, so how is that working out?

Why the Arts?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2018 New Mexico will need to fill 53,000 STEM-related jobs. To address this, STEM to STEAM is an initiative to add art and design to the agenda of STEM education and research in America. A recent rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation will now integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math). According to the latest research, for students to be prepared and job ready in the new economy, creativity and innovation are just as essential as reading and math.

How I got involved.

I have been a practicing artist for over 30 years, and like many mature artists out there, we have specific skills that are under utilized in todays’ society. In 2009  I started an R&D project called STEMarts to bring new media artists into the classroom to develop STEAM skills and explore new roles for the artist in our society. In 2015 I heard about Andrea Polli’s VISTA project, Help Build Capacity for STEAM Education in New Mexico, through The Social Media Workgroup (SMW) which investigates the social and ecological impacts of media technology through practice-based research. Based at the University of New Mexico, the group designs and creates projects related to media technology, environment and social change. As one of five VISTA’s selected for this project. my role as STEAM Innovator and Networker for Northern New Mexico, is to strengthen an existing network of partners and sustainable funding sources to support the education and employment of students,  along with emerging professionals, parents and other community members throughout the state in STEAM fields.

How has it worked out?

It is an exciting time because decision makers are waking up to the value of the arts, science and technology and there is much work to be done developing innovative STEAM educational programs and employment opportunities for students and educators. By pooling resources, reporting on outcomes, learning about ‘capacity building’, and laser focusing on a shared goal, I have been able to have more impact and reach than was possible on my own.

It has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I highly recommend to older adults and seasoned artists to explore the AmeriCorps job postings.  My advice is to find an organization that resonates with your passion and is doing similar projects. In this way the work becomes seamlessly aligned. I also would recommend to AmeriCorps administrators to seek out older adult artists as a valuable under utilized resource. Artists are innovative problem solvers, know how to make something out of nothing, and are always volunteering their time and donating work to help their community and make the world a better place. Who better to help carry out the AmeriCorps mission of ending poverty in America?

Below are some examples of projects have been developed as part of this collaboration to date:

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Agnes Chavez shares 2015 Projecting Particles outcomes at return visit to ATLAS@CERN

MAY 2016
CERN. Geneva, Switzerland

A year after her 2015 two-week research stay through ATLAS Experiment at CERN, Chavez returns to share end of year video documentation from the Projecting Particles projects.  The gatherings took place at the CERN library and Ideasquare, a dedicated test facility at CERN that hosts detector R&D projects, facilitates MSc student programs and can host special innovation-related events. A special thanks to Dr. Steven Goldfarb and Claire Adam Bourdarios for facilitating a series of exchanges to get feedback from the physics community and dedicated time for future planning. We are excited to announce that the Projecting Particles@ATLAS project has been accepted as a poster session at the ICHEP Conference (38th International Conference on High Energy Physics). Stay tuned for new developments underway for the 2016 Projecting Particles- ATLAS@CERN partnership.

Highlights from the exchanges.

Agnes Chavez shares 2015 outcomes from Projecting Particles project.

An expanded partnership with ATLAS led to bringing the ATLAS Masterclass to Taos High School which deepened the physics learning. The five-day workshop ended with students sharing their experience as part of an Artist Talk at The Harwood Museum. 2015 workshops were sponsored by ATLAS@CERN, Quarknet, Harwood Museum, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Albert L. Pierce Foundation. Special thanks to AmeriCorps VISTA.

Also shared were the results from the Projecting Particles workshop at the Havana Biennial 2015, with physicist, Dr. Luis Flores Castillo leading the physics instruction at a high school in Havana.

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Tagtool app developer, Markus Dorninger, led the art portion of the the two-day workshop resulting in a live performance by Cuban students projecting on to a building at Parque Trillo.

Havana 2015 PROJECTING PARTICLES II
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ATLAS at CERN + The Harwood Museum expand Physics and Art at Taos High School

ATLAS at CERN partners  with Agnes Chavez, Quarknet and The Harwood Museum to bring a unique physics + art opportunity to Taos High School students. This event is sponsored by ATLAS Experiment, The Harwood Museum and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Special thanks to Carla Chavez, Biology teacher at Taos High School and Megan Avina Bowers, teacher at Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA). On March 18 and 19, students  participated in the International Masterclass to delve into particle physics as a kick off to the 3-day Teen-Led Projecting Particles workshop.  The week long event culminated with students coordinating and documenting a physics-inspired projection. They then presented on their experience as part of an Artist Talk at The Harwood Museum, which showed  the physics-inspired installation, Origination Point, by Agnes Chavez, Marcel Schwittlick and Robert Schirmer. In addition, lead students visited TISA to do a presentation to younger students sharing what they learned about art and physics.

What is the International Masterclass?

From the CERN website, ‘Each year in spring, research institutes and universities around the world invite students and their teachers for a day-long program to experience life at the forefront of basic research. These International Masterclasses (link is external) give students the opportunity to be particle physicists for a day by analysing real data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This year’s edition will attract more than 10,000 high-school students from 40 countries, celebrating the 10th edition of the initiative between 12 March and 12 April 2014.’  As part of this workshop, Taos was conferenced in with students from Medellin, Colombia, Santiago, Chile and Notre Dame, London to compare the results of their investigations.

The Visiting Guest Teachers

Michael Wadness, a high school physics teacher from Medford High School near Boston with a doctorate in science education, lead the exciting International Masterclass at Taos High School on March 18,19.

Sally Seidel is a professor of physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico and presently works on the ATLAS experiment in high energy physics. Sally came from Albuquerque on March 19 to do a presentation and lead a discussion with students on particle physics concepts and ATLAS.

About the Sci-Art integration

After a two day immersion with experts in particle physics, students began the exploration of projection art as a medium of expression and communication. The three-day workshop March 22-24 was led by three teens that participated in the workshop in December 2015. They lead a group of new students to explore a projection art iPad tool called Tagtool. Together they will storyboard, design and document a live projection on to a building inspired by the physics concepts.

Learning by Teaching

During the workshop students presented a PowerPoint to share their experiences as part of an Artist Talk at The Harwood Museum  along with artist/facilitator, Agnes Chavez. Students visited Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA) and presented to over 70 students from different classrooms. They shared what they learned about particle physics and how it informed their art. These new additions to the Projecting Particles workshop deepened the students understanding of  the physics concepts and developed valuable leadership and communication skills.

Explora ABQ: Projecting Climate Change Workshop

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The Harwood Museum-sponsored Projecting Particle workshop/performance by teens from Taos Academy and Taos high School

As pat of my Americorps VISTA service and partnership with Explora and 516 ARTS,event: Habitat, Exploring Climate Change through the Arts, I will present a hands-on workshop offering students the opportunity to use projection art and their imaginations to explore climate impacts on diverse ecosystems and allow that to inspire and inform their ideas. Using the iPad app, Tagtool, developed by Austrian artist Markus Dorninger, kids will have fun painting, animating and projecting with light. Participants are asked to bring their own tablets as their “art” tool. For ages 8 and up.

As part of our partnership with The Harwood Teen Engagement Program, STEMarts Lab Teen, Haley Rach, will be coming with me to Albuquerque to lead the workshop at Explora. The Harwood Teen Engagement program offers opportunities for mentorship, civic engagement, and leadership to youth age 13 – 18. Using the Museum as the basis of their Service Learning component, teens gain career-related skills.

This workshop is sponsored by Sube and STEMarts LAB.

REGISTER NOW!

If anyone is interested in signing up for this workshop there is still room (maximum 8 students). Please contact Tara.

    • Time: 2-5pm
    • Admission: $5
  • 1701 Mountain Rd. N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87104
  • Phone: 505-224-8323

 

‘Hour of Code’ at Taos Middle School a Huge Success

code map

 

Taos Middle School was one of 166,726,959 schools around the world that participated in the national week-long Hour of Code event, designed to get the whole world dedicating one hour to learning code using their fun and easy tutorials.  Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

Thanks to Los Alamos National Laboratory who coordinated a task force of LANL volunteers to send out to schools across Northern New Mexico, we received Jacob Miner, Graduate student/scientist. Jacob lead three one-hour sessions, totaling over 75 students, through the fun and well-designed tutorials of coding Minecraft puzzles and design challenges.  Tracy Galligan sent two high school students  to assist. It was a huge success and the kids loved it. The lead teacher, Christine Garcia, who had never been exposed to coding before this, was already helping students through challenges by the end of the day. Principal Alfredo Cordova visited the classroom and caught the motivational videos that are part of the tutorial, with guest appearances by President Obama, and celebrities such as Jessica Alba.

 

The best part is that this well funded and well-designed website is free and available anytime for anyone to use. They even have more advanced programming tutorials for programs such as Javascript and Python. Some of the students were already moving into advanced courses within the hour!

Special thanks to Dr. Torrez, Jeff Everett and the whole TMS team that made this last minute demo possible. STEMarts LAB is planning to design more programming around this amazing resource so for anyone that missed out this time, stay tuned! Photos coming soon.