TISA kids going to CERN!


I am excited to announce that the TISA class that I have been working with since 4th grade on the Projecting Particles (particle physics + art + culture) project will be visiting CERN on their 8th grade graduating Europe trip. Most of the kids have participated in the annual Projecting Particles workshop. On the science side that includes learning particle physics from CERN physicist, Dr. Steven Goldfarb, Quarknet staff/physics teacher Shane Wood and/or LANL astrophysicist, Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning. On the art side they have learned projection art making from Austrian artist, Markus Dorninger (MAKI), using his amazing #Tagtool app, Steve Tamayo for the Lakota cosmology worldview iteration, and myself as the artist/education director that weaves it all together into an immersive sci-art learning experience.

To kick off their exciting European trip that will take them through Switzerland and Italy they will come to CERN where Dr. Steven Goldfarb and myself will be there to give them a personal tour. Steven will be showing them where he works at the ATLAS Experiment and facilitate the CERN Lab tours.


I will be taking them to visit the CERN Data Center where I have been working for the past 3 years with a team to design and build a permanent installation called Fluidic Data. This 42′ high installation visualizes data from the Large Hadron Collider through a play of water and light. Students will learn how Fluidic Data works to visualize data and what is the symbology used to visualize the 26 particles including the famous Higgs Boson.

Evening shot of Fluidic Data, 13m high installation in the stairwell of the CERN Data Center

.The CERN TISA students will also visit the IdeaSquare@CERN, a very cool space whose mission is ‘Connecting curious minds to accelerate ideas through collaboration, R&D prototyping, and experimental innovation.’ This is where I did most of my prototyping in their maker space and where I met Dr. Umut Kose, physicist and Project Associate at CERN Neutrino Platform who does his exciting work on neutrinos in this space. Umut was a co-creater of the Fluidic Data installation. Students will meet the Fluidic Data team and see for themselves how the CERN Data Center collects and redistributes data from the four experiments at CERN: ATLAS, ALICE, LHCb and CMS


This school year 2020, we will be working with the CERN TISA kids once again with special visits and workshops. Yesterday Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, an astrophysicist at LANL, facilitated a fascinating hands-on workshop that answered student questions about supernovae, black holes, neutron stars, the fabric of space/time, and why it matters. Students did interactive activities on dark matter detection and learned how we get information from light, playing with invisible UV ink. Special thanks to Nicole who is a great teacher and a wonderful role model for the girls!

Student painting the galaxies with UV light reactive invisible ink

I am so impressed with what these students have learned about the fundamental nature of the universe through particle physics, art and culture, and why it matters. Our hope is that experiencing the universality and interconnections in nature will build empathy and tolerance for each other and for all species on this earth toward becoming more compassionate caretakers of our planet and our universe. Special thanks to Megan Avina Bowers, the TISA teacher that helped create the curriculum and guided the students in the first 3 years of development. It would never have happened without her commitment and creativity. She always found time for our intensive multi-day workshops. And special thanks to the Taos Integrated School of the Arts that as a school supports this unconventional teaching approach where we turn the cafeteria into an immersive interactive learning environment!

Projecting Particles presentation to parents and all students to see what the CERN TISA kids had learned and created.

For those interested in supporting these students and their exciting trip to CERN they are starting to raise money now for their Spring 2021 graduating trip. For more information please contact Sally Greywolf, the teacher that is now organizing the trip and spearheading the CERN TISA project. 575-758-7755 or sally@tisataos.org