Events

Building Capacity for STEAM: Americorps Project expands into 2017

Two years ago I joined Andrea Polli and the Social Media Workgroup (SMW) as an Americorps VISTA.  “Did you know that President Kennedy introduced the idea of VISTA to Congress in 1963? Or that many of the best-known anti-poverty programs, including Head Start and Credit Unions, were expanded by VISTA members? VISTA has been on the forefront of ending poverty in America for 50 years.” Check out the Americorps website to read more about this important program.

In 2014, SMW received its first Americorps/VISTA grant to launch the STEAM NM initiative: Building Capacity for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and the Arts) Education in New Mexico. Now renewed and expanded for its third year with VISTA, our STEAM NM core group includes SMW along with five partners: UNM STEM Collaborative, The School of Architecture + Planning and COSMIAC; the CNM Fuse Makerspace, and The PASEO/STEMarts in Taos. My role as the Taos VISTA is to innovate and network STEAM initiatives in Northern New Mexico. It has been an exciting year that has led to new local and global partnerships to expand youth opportunities in our communities. Read more about it on the Social Media Workgroup website and stay tuned for 2017 programming.

 

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Launch of STEAM Innovation Lab at Local Taos School

We are excited to announce that the launch of a STEAM Innovation Lab at the Taos Integrated School of the Arts in Taos, New Mexico is underway. STEMarts Lab founder, Agnes Chavez, is working with Richard Greywolf and Megan Avina Bowers to design a STEAM Lab that will launch TISA students and teachers into the 21st century.

The Lab will be based on the STEMarts Lab model developed in 2009 and which has been implemented through multiple platforms, from new media art festivals such as ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness and The Paseo, to national and international science events, such as the Los Alamos STEM Challenge and the ATLAS@CERN Projecting Particles project.

For the past three years TISA has participated in the STEMarts Lab youth program@The Paseo Youth program where students have gotten a taste of this unique STEAM approach. They experience cutting edge technologies and science through the lens of  new media artists, and collaborate with the artist to create participatory art for Taos’ exciting new festival, The Paseo.  In 2015, NY based artist, CHiKA, engaged students in a video mapping marathon that was part of the festival and this year students worked with The Illuminator, an art collective that works with light projections as a means of political expression, environmental transformation, and public discourse. We will integrate an ongoing series of Projecting Particles workshops in collaboration with ATLAS@CERN that will keep students abreast of the latest discoveries in particle physics, and through art, better understand how these discoveries expand our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe.

We have partnered with TWIRL to integrate their exciting STEAM activities, and are looking forward to collaborating with other emerging Maker spaces and activities to create a community-focused laboratory for exploration. The STEAM Innovation Lab at TISA will continue to offer these unique interdisciplinary collaborations but will also provide teachers with year long opportunities to learn about and integrate cutting edge technologies into their own curriculum topics.

Some unique features of the Lab include, A 21st Century Materials and Resource Library, a multi-functional space that allows for multiple intelligence exploration,  and a VR biofeedback room that focuses on social emotional intelligence. The TISA STEAM Lab will have  a strong emphasis on science concepts, creativity and innovation,  personal reflection and growth, and social practice as the foundation to all technological explorations.  For more information contact learn@sube.com.

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Projecting Particles poster session at ICHEP

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The Projecting Particles project was presented as a poster session at the 38th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP). The presenter was Dr. Luis Flores Castillo, the physicist who was part of the Projecting Particles team invited to the Havana Biennial 2015.

 

Origination Point Installation at The Harwood Museum

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Current exhibit

February 12- May 1, 2016

Origination Point is a generative interactive projection installation originally exhibited at the 12th Havana Biennial in Havana, Cuba as part of the collective exhibit Entre, Dentro, Fuera/Between, Inside, Outside.

As part of Agnes Chavez’s Projecting Particles series and inspired by her research stay at ATLAS@CERN in Geneva Switzerland, this work explores new concepts about space, our origins in the universe and how matter was created after the big bang through the newly discovered Higgs field. In Origination Point, Chavez contemplates humanity’s shared subatomic origins in relation to her Cuban-American origins to express that we are more than the physical bodies and socio-cultural identities we construct.

Through a collaboration with artist Marcel Schwittlick, who programmed the code, Origination Point features images of self-generating ‘rocks’ that are transformed in real time exploring the evolution of matter and our wave/particle duality. The images are projected onto a wall of hanging fabric strips creating mesmerizing movements in rhythm with an interactive soundtrack. The interactive composition designed and programmed by sound designer Robert Schirmer includes sounds from NASA’s field recordings of outer space accompanied by terrestrial nature sounds. Through an interactive sensor the visitor moves rocks in and out of a circle on the ground. This process adds layers of water, space and earth sounds designed to shift one’s perception and emotional response to the projected visuals.

Agnes Chavez is a new media artist based in Taos, New Mexico. Inspired by particle physics, nature and technology, Chavez experiments with data visualization, sound and projection art to create participatory environments.

Marcel Schwittlick is a visual artist living in Berlin, Germany examining new possibilities of modern technology. He is interested in digital culture and its inclinations on society and is working in strong connection to various fields in the arts, forging a connection between physical and digital media.

Robert Schirmer is a sound designer and musician living in Berlin,Germany. His approach to sound and music is driven by improvisation and reduction. He’s often using field recordings and home-grown foley recordings.

Exploring Netlogo with Youth Coding Team

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STEMarts LAB Projecting Particles coding team sponsored by ATLAS Experimet at CERN, in partnership with Tracy Gallighan at Taos High School. The team has designed and built a unique projection mapping station for the Invent Event. April 23 12-5m at Enos Garcia Elementary.

We are exploring Netlogo, ‘a programmable modeling environment for simulating natural and social phenomena. NetLogo is particularly well suited for modeling complex systems developing over time. Modelers can give instructions to hundreds or thousands of “agents” all operating independently. This makes it possible to explore the connection between the micro-level behavior of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from their interaction. ‘

I played with this code a little during my residency November 2016 at Santa Fe Art Institute. I am collecting real-time migration data of immigrants and refugees video mapping their movements on to structures inspired by power lines connecting across the landscape. The above images are from the prototype for a large scale “cube” installation. I am exploring  agent-based modeling for the data visualization.

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ATLAS at CERN + The Harwood Museum expand Physics and Art at Taos High School

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ATLAS at CERN partners  with Agnes Chavez, Quarknet and The Harwood Museum to bring a unique physics + art opportunity to Taos High School students. This event is sponsored by ATLAS Experiment, The Harwood Museum and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Special thanks to Carla Chavez, Biology teacher at Taos High School and Megan Avina Bowers, teacher at Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA). On March 18 and 19, students  participated in the International Masterclass to delve into particle physics as a kick off to the 3-day Teen-Led Projecting Particles workshop.  The week long event culminated with students coordinating and documenting a physics-inspired projection. They then presented on their experience as part of an Artist Talk at The Harwood Museum, which showed  the physics-inspired installation, Origination Point, by Agnes Chavez, Marcel Schwittlick and Robert Schirmer. In addition, lead students visited TISA to do a presentation to younger students sharing what they learned about art and physics.

What is the International Masterclass?

From the CERN website, ‘Each year in spring, research institutes and universities around the world invite students and their teachers for a day-long program to experience life at the forefront of basic research. These International Masterclasses (link is external) give students the opportunity to be particle physicists for a day by analysing real data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This year’s edition will attract more than 10,000 high-school students from 40 countries, celebrating the 10th edition of the initiative between 12 March and 12 April 2014.’  As part of this workshop, Taos was conferenced in with students from Medellin, Colombia, Santiago, Chile and Notre Dame, London to compare the results of their investigations.

The Visiting Guest Teachers

Michael Wadness, a high school physics teacher from Medford High School near Boston with a doctorate in science education, lead the exciting International Masterclass at Taos High School on March 18,19.

Sally Seidel is a professor of physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico and presently works on the ATLAS experiment in high energy physics. Sally came from Albuquerque on March 19 to do a presentation and lead a discussion with students on particle physics concepts and ATLAS.

About the Sci-Art integration

After a two day immersion with experts in particle physics, students began the exploration of projection art as a medium of expression and communication. The three-day workshop March 22-24 was led by three teens that participated in the workshop in December 2015. They lead a group of new students to explore a projection art iPad tool called Tagtool. Together they will storyboard, design and document a live projection on to a building inspired by the physics concepts. Special thanks to Markus Dorninger, collaborating partner and developer of the Tagtool app.

Learning by Teaching

During the workshop students presented a PowerPoint to share their experiences as part of an Artist Talk at The Harwood Museum  along with artist/facilitator, Agnes Chavez. Students visited Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA) and presented to over 70 students from different classrooms. They shared what they learned about particle physics and how it informed their art. These new additions to the Projecting Particles workshop deepened the students understanding of  the physics concepts and developed valuable leadership and communication skills.