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particle physics

What happens when a physicist from CERN, a Lakota water protector, a Tewa educator and a new media artist meet with 26 Taos fourth and fifth graders?

Perhaps, opposing worldviews will converge to create a new balance in the universe!

Reposted from Janet Webb, Beyondtaos.com
Taos, NM, April 2017

“Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics” is a youth workshop at Taos Integrated School for the Arts (TISA) organized by their new STEAM Lab@TISA coordinator, artist-educator, Agnes Chavez. On Monday, April 10, students from Megan Bowers Avina’s TISA classroom will spend the morning with Dr. Steven Goldfarb (CERN Physicist) and Steve Tamayo (Lakota Cultural Specialist and Water Protector) exploring the mystery of Dark Matter through the lens of two worldviews. Megan explains, “Agnes and I have been working with the TISA students for weeks preparing them with creative activities on Dark Matter and native science-western science worldviews. The kids are incredibly talented, compassionate, and have developed insight on the possibilities of what makes up Dark Matter, even impressing the scientist from CERN with their theories.”

The two-day workshop is part of the Projecting Particles Project, introduced during The PASEO 2014 – which also included a virtual collaboration with Dr. Goldfarb and the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. Now Dr. Goldfarb will appear in person to explain the Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator in the world, and how it is used to discover particles that are the key to our understanding of the universe. With Standing Rock water protector, Steve Tamayo, students will learn the indigenous way of using science to relate to the physical world. The students will participate in the building of a Lakota tipi as they hear metaphorical stories that share the cosmological observations of indigenous peoples. Guided by the research and wisdom of Dr. Cajete, the interdisciplinary team will encourage youth to imagine a new worldview that combines science, technological and life-sustaining ecology that is in balance with nature.

With artist Agnes Chavez, students will transfer their newly created stories into animated electronic graphics to be projected inside of the tipi, creating an installation that they will share with the community at a live performance on April 11. Chavez will be assisted by three Taos High School students, all of whom have participated in past Projecting Particles workshops where they learned the Tagtool animation tool from Paseo artist and Tagtool app developer, Markus Dorninger.

The public will be able view a video documenting “Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics” in three different roundtable discussions  – in Taos, Espanola and Santa Fe.

Quick View:
April 10-11 – Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics: Exploring Dark Matter
Youth Workshop for TISA students at Taos Youth and Family Center (limited press passes available)

April 11, 7:00 – 9:00pm – Live public viewing of student projection inside Lakota tipi
Taos Youth and Family Center, 407 Paseo del Cañon East, Taos

April 12, 6:00pm – Public Roundtable Discussion with Video of TISA workshop
Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux Street, Taos

April 13, noon-2:00pm – Public Roundtable Discussion with Video of TISA workshop
Northern New Mexico Community College, 2921 N Paseo de Onate, Española

April 13, 6:00pm – Public Roundtable Discussion with Video of TISA workshop
Biocultura, 1505 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe

About the participants of “Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics”

Dr. Steve Goldfarb is a physicist from the University of Melbourne, working on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN in Geneva Switzerland. He is active in education and outreach, is the webmaster for the ATLAS public web pages, co-chair of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group, on-site coordinator of the REU Summer Student and Research Semester Abroad programs for American undergraduates at CERN, and advisory board member for Quarknet.

Steve Tamayo is based in Omaha Nebraska. He draws upon his family history as a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe. His fine arts education (BFA from Singe Gleska University) along with his cultural upbringing have shaped him as an artist, historian, storyteller and dancer. Steve provides activities during his residencies that include art and regalia making, drumming, powwow dance demonstrations and lectures on the history, symbolism and meaning behind the Native customs and traditions. Most recently Steve led workshops with kids at Standing Rock Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Dr. Greg Cajete is a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar in ethno botany of Northern New Mexico and as a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. Dr. Cajete has authored five books: Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education, (Kivaki Press, 1994); Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model, (Kivaki Press, 1999); Spirit of the Game: Indigenous Wellsprings (2004) , A People’s Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living, and Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence (Clearlight Publishers, 1999 and 2000).

Agnes Chavez is a new media artist and educator and co-director of The Paseo, working at the intersection of art, science, technology and social practice. She partners with scientists and programmers to explore our relationship to nature and technology through data visualization, sound and projections. Her recent installation, Origination Point, visualized the origins of matter and the Higgs Field, informed by a research stay at the ATLAS Experiment at CERN in 2015. Agnes is Co-Director of The PASEO, the outdoor participatory arts festival which brings projection, performance and installation art to the streets of Taos, New Mexico. In 2009 she founded the STEMarts Lab, which empowers youth through STEAM workshops that integrate science, technology and new media arts through social practice.

Megan Bowers Avina Is a nationally award-winning photojournalist and artist who has lived in Taos for over 20 years. Avina is the Art’s Curriculum Coordinator at the Taos Integrated School of the Arts and fourth grade teacher. Avina strives to create a classroom atmosphere of real world issues to inspire her students to become critical thinkers and instruments of positive change in their community/world. Avina is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and is currently obtaining her Masters of Fine Arts at UNM. Avina is ecstatic to have joined forces with Chavez in bringing an amazing curriculum to the students at the Taos Integrated School of the Arts.

Thanks to sponsors TISA and a grant from the Martin Foundation, ATLAS Experiment at CERN, Harwood Museum of The Arts, Taos Youth and Family Center and Northern New Mexico Community College.

How Standing Rock inspired a new STEAM youth curriculum

A visit to the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock has inspired a new STEAM curriculum for youth. Through a multicultural collaboration with indigenous educators, artists and particle physicists students will explore the correlations of indigenous cosmology to modern science through art and social practice.  The curriculum will focus on our human connection to nature, science and technology through diverse worldviews.

As an artist and Americorp VISTA working at the intersection of art, science, technology and education I focus on youth, inspiring them to discover who they are and their connection to their community and the world. So when I heard that Standing Rock was started by youth, supported by elders and sustained by over 300 tribal nations and countless activist organizations from around the world, I felt called to action. When I got there elders told me they felt it was their prayers calling people. I believe that Standing Rock is an important and transformational movement. I wanted to go in person to meet and support the youth leaders from the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) and I had heard from Taos Pueblo drum maker, Christopher Lujan that someone had started a school at the camp for the over 200 kids living there. So I got together with Chris , Jason Rodriguez of ARTAOS and teacher, Megan Avina Bowers at TISA (Taos Integrated School of the Arts) and we designed a workshop for the kids which resulted in student-created banners which I delivered to the young water protectors.  They were so open and appreciative of this gift from the kids that they even took the time to record a video message for them. What impressed me most is that they are not just fighting the pipeline, they are focused on the idea of building a Just Transition Community grounded in prayer and modeling to the youth a new way to be in this world. I saw how they were focused on educating and raising awareness to the change that needs to happen to protect our natural and cultural resources for future generations, while understanding the important connection between ecological diversity and cultural diversity.

The media has not been covering this story, so the youth have taken to Facebook live streaming, drone footage from the front lines, and creating YouTube videos to communicate their message. The youth of Standing Rock are using the new Facebook live stream technology and free social media platform to  shake up the world and I came back wanting to continue this work in our schools and communities.

While there, I met Steve Tamayo, one of the Lakota teachers at the Oceti Sakowin school managed by Teresa Dzieglewicz who was living at the camp. Steve was sharing Lakota traditions while teaching kids how to build a Tipi.  I told him about a project I started in 2009 called Projecting Particles, collaborating with scientists at CERN, home of the particle accelerator in Switzerland. The workshops combine projection art and particle physics to explore new understandings of the universe.  We saw some fascinating correlations between traditional Lakota cosmology and modern particle physics.  We are now collaborating with CERN physicist, Dr. Steven Goldfarb,  to design a curriculum that explores these correlations through STEAM youth projects and a community lecture series. We hope that increasing understanding of radically new science concepts while building appreciation for the significance of indigenous cosmology and worldview can provide students with a meaningful, collaborative and unifying way to explore and understand the world around us.

Follow this blog to see how this project evolves.

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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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.

Particles-cuba_luis-in-class

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
DSC02444