The STEMarts Lab mission is to design immersive and educational sci-art experiences that develop artistic, scientific and humanistic literacy to empower youth and communities to become creative participants in the 21st century workplace.
What we do
We deliver innovative sci-art installations, STEAM programming, online curriculum tools, teacher training and professional development to schools, art/science organizations and festivals.
How we do it
- Research and investigate cutting edge science and technology tools.
- Build curricula around the work of professional new media artists and scientists.
- Interdisciplinary sci-art approach increases creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.
- Online education platform provides free and equitable access.
- Intercultural exchange represents diverse and authentic voices.
- Build science, tech and media literacy to empower and inform.
- Students develop empathy towards other worldviews and thereby become better citizens of the planet.
- Students develop scientific and artistic literacy as a way of knowing and communicating in order to deepen their understanding of the world around them.
- Students are cultural producers and use technologies to produce meaningful content and solve problems
- Students perceive themselves as caretakers of the planet and global citizens to develop positive values for community engagement.
- Students develop social and cross cultural skills.
- Students understand the ethics behind new technologies and their impact on nature and humanity.
- Teachers have educational tools that enhance their STEAM teaching capabilities.
- Under-resourced communities have access to cutting edge art, science and technology.
- Teachers have access to the latest science research and technologies to inform their design practice and curricula
- Teachers develop proficiency with online platforms which support students in gaining 21st century skills.
- Artists are more civically engaged in their communities.
- Cultural Specialists design culturally responsive curriculum alongside youth and teachers .
- Intercultural exchange and collaboration takes place among youth, artists and community.
Who we serve?
- Middle school and high school teachers looking to bring STEMarts projects and strategies into their classroom to enhance their curriculum.
- School administrators wanting to include STEAM programming that engages students and teachers while meeting STEM and Arts standards.
- Museum Directors wanting to add a sci-art installation, presentation/panel or an innovative STEAM educational component to their museum programming.
- Science institutions wishing to integrate the arts as a way to communicate science through immersive and participatory experiences.
- New media/interdisciplinary artists, scientists and cultural specialists looking to share their knowledge and become civically engaged in schools and communities.
- Event coordinators looking to integrate sci-art or STEAM educational programming customized to their event.
The STEMarts Education Model is based on carefully designed media-rich workshops, hands-on demos or community interventions built on instruction with four design pillars that revolve around a core principle; that all content must increase understanding of our interdependent and interspecies connection to self, society and nature as a creative and integrated ecosystem.
(1) New Media Arts and Social Practice.
Students engage with new media and social practice as a genre that invites collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory and experiential art. Students explore art as process and ‘way of knowing’ in parallel and intersecting with the scientific way of knowing. We explore the latest digital ‘maker’ tools to engage and inspire art with social purpose.
(2) Cutting Edge Science.
Through virtual and real collaboration with interdisciplinary experts and creative applications, students explore cutting edge science. The goal is to a) expand students’ understanding of nature and our place in the universe through the scientific method and intercultural worldviews b) demonstrate the personal, social and global impact of science applications on their lives, while empowering them to be global citizens and caretakers of the planet. Projects are designed to the Next Generation Science Standards, National Art Standards and Common Core.
(3) 21st Century Skills and Technology.
Students learn to harness their creativity and develop critical thinking and innovation skills around interdisciplinary and humanitarian topics of interest. Through this process they get access to emerging technologies that peak their curiosity and blur the boundaries between science and art. Students learn valuable new tools that build job skills for the global workforce. Activities are aligned with Partnership for 21st Century Standards (P21).
(4) Real World Application and Collaboration.
The work created through the program always has a connection to the real world, whether in their local community or through an international project. Students experience real world learning and community activism through participation in art and science festivals and local/global projects; real and virtual. Projects are designed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
How it started
STEMarts started in 2009 as a pilot STEAM program at Taos Academy with a small grant from Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2012 STEMarts was contracted by 516 Arts to design and coordinate the Education Program Director for the ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness event in Albuquerque. Through this project STEMarts expanded to develop the ISEA2012 STEMArts Curriculum platform. In 2013 STEMarts was contracted by Los Alamos National Laboratory to apply the STEMarts approach to a STEM competition for their 70th anniversary and designed the Los Alamos STEM Challenge. These tools are still available online for free access. From 2014-2019 STEMarts Lab designed and implemented the STEMarts@PASEO Youth Program for The PASEO Festival.
About the Founder
STEMarts LAB was founded by new media artist Agnes Chavez as a Research and Innovation platform for sci-art explorations applied to art and education. Agnes Chavez is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and social entrepreneur. She is the founder and developer of the Sube Teach language thru Art, Music and Games program, which she started in 1996, serving over half a million children.
In 2009 she founded the STEMArts Lab which partners with new media artists and schools to research and develop 21st century tools and learning opportunities as part of new media art festivals, school programs and community events. She has developed art-based curricula and STEAM programs for Scholastic, 516 Arts and Los Alamos National Laboratory. She collaborated with Anita McKeown in 2012 to create an online curriculum tool around the ISEA2012 electronic arts festival in 2012. She is co-founder of The PASEO outdoor participatory art festival in Taos New Mexico since 2014, and designed the STEMarts youth program for the festival. She has won numerous awards for her sci-art projects including the renowned “Educational Innovation in the Americas” (INELAM) award in 2006, and the New Mexico Women in Technology Award in 2011.
In her art, Chavez experiments with data visualization, sound and projection art to create participatory experiences that explore our relationship with nature and technology. In 2015 she was invited to the Havana Biennial to present the installation Origination Point, along with the STEMarts youth workshop, Projecting Particles. The opening was attended by Senator Tom Udall and a delegation of five US senators to support the US-Cuba relations. Her services include participatory art installations, program design and coordination, consulting and lectures to inspire and inform on sci-art and STEAM initiatives. For her latest work visit www.agneschavez.com