STEAM Lab@TISA Soaring from the Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics Launch

Taos NM, April 2017.

The STEAM Lab at Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA) kicked off the new Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics: Exploring Dark Matter workshop. Through a unique collaboration with lead teachers Megan Avina Bowers and Linda Seto, TISA Middle school students participated in three day workshop to explore the mystery of Dark Matter through the lens of two worldviews.

Through CERN physicist, Dr. Steven Goldfarb, they learned about the Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator in Geneva Switzerland and how it is used to discover particles that are the key to our understanding of the universe.

Through Lakota cultural specialist, Steve Tamayo, they learned the indigenous way of doing science as a participatory and creative process to understand the world around us. Students participated in the building of a Lakota Tipi and Dreamcatcher as they heard the oral stories that through metaphor shared the cosmological observations of indigenous peoples.

Guided by the research and wisdom of Santa Clara author and professor of Native American studies, Dr. Greg Cajete, the interdisciplinary team encouraged youth to imagine a new worldview that combines the advances of the scientific method and technological innovations with a life-sustaining ecology that is participatory and in balance with nature. They investigated the topic of dark matter through this newly created lens.

New media artist, Agnes Chavez, worked with Steve Tamayo and students to transfer their newly created stories into animated electronic projections from the inside of the Tipi to create an installation that they then shared with the community through a live tipi projection event at the Taos Youth and Family Center.

Together they created a unique experience captured in this video.