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.