About

Space Messengers is an immersive and educational sci-art experience that is part of the BioSTEAM International youth exchange program in partnership with the U.S Embassy of Portugal and the U.S. Consulate General of Guadalajara. This virtual collaboration connects middle/high school classrooms in New Mexico, USA with classrooms in Lisbon, Portugal and Guadalajara, Mexico (more countries to be added) through a shared sci-art installation that will tour around the world. Experts in the field of astrophysics, particle physics, space science, philosophy and native science contributed their knowledge through the youth workshops. Our goal is to raise awareness to the importance of artistic, scientific and humanistic literacy to inspire our youth to become more informed and compassionate global citizens. The culminating Space Messengers installation projects the student's 'space messages' and silhouettes communicating the science they learned and sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future.  

This project is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. Thanks also to our sponsors at the U.S. Embassy of Portugal, Consulate General of Guadalajara, LANL Foundation, Taos Community Foundation, and the MAE Foundation.

 

Global Virtual Reality Youth Day

The culminating Space Messengers interactive projection will be inaugurated at the Festival Internacional de Ciencia in Oeiras Portugal (October 15-17,2021), and will be live streamed into a virtual reality platform as part of the Global Virtual Reality Youth Day in Taos County (October 15, 2021 1-3pmMT).  Schools and community organizations that would like to participate as a VR Youth Day host must register by September 25, 2021.

This curriculum tool is used to share with students the exciting sci-art content developed through our workshops that becomes part of the final projection. Participants use the built-in messaging tool to share with the world the science they learned and their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future. The 'Space Messages' can be seen projected live on the wall in Portugal and in the Virtual Reality (VR) environment. They can also be accessed via the Space Messengers website which will go live during the event October 15-17, 2021. Space Messengers will then travel to festivals around the world carrying the space messages of participating youth from each venue. Next stop...Guadalajara, Mexico in 2022!

What we Learn

In this sci-art project we learn about the universe and our relationship to earth and space from science experts in the fields of particle physics, astrophysics and space science.  We also hear from artists, indigenous cultural specialists and philosophers of science to explore how art, humanities and philosophy can be a tool to understand the impact of science and technology on our environment and our society. Through this experience we develop artistic, scientific, humanistic and futures literacy to become more informed global citizens and caretakers of the interplanetary universe that is our home.

How it Works

This site is designed for teachers to explore the sci-art content with their students. The icon menu above contains all the resources needed to participate in the project: Teacher Tools, Design Tool, Artist Page, Citizen Science and Speakers.

The Teacher Tools contain all the lesson/activity guides which can be implemented as a self-guided tool. The Design Tool is the Get Started guide that takes you through the stages of the design process to complete the project. The Artist page has all the information about the Space Messengers installation and the artists. Citizen Science offers additional resources for students that would like to go deeper into the science. Speakers page includes the video presentations of each interdiscipinary workshop guest that has contributed to the Space Messengers project.

About the Team

Lead Artists: Agnes Chavez and Markus Dorninger/OMAi team, Roy MacDonald, OpenFrameworks programmer. David Novack, sound design, Mathieu Castel, Virtual Reality environment.

Interdisciplinary speakers/facilitators: Dr. Steven Goldfarb, CERN physicist; Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, LANL astrophysicist; Steve Tamayo, Lakota Cultural Specialist; Catarina Pombo Nabais, Philosophy of Science/University of Lisbon; Frank Tavares, NASA Communication Specialist

Curriculum  Advisors: Shane Wood, Quarknet staff; Dr. Greg Cajete, Native-American Author/cultural specialist.

Visual Program/Curriculum Designer: Estacia Huddleston.

Multi-media/Tech development and support: OMAi/Tagtool team/Josef Dorninger and Matthias Fritz;  Enrico Trujillo, University of New Mexico; Dania Loya, On-site media installation

STEAM Ambassadors

STEAM Ambassadors are part of STEMarts Lab's BioSTEAM International program. We create an opportunity for youth to take leadership roles in the projects, assisting with all aspects of design, planning and implementing the BioSTEAM workshops and sci-art installations. They serve as mentors and inspiration to the participating students.

STEAM Ambassadors are high school age or young adults that participate as facilitators. They have experience as U.S. Youth Ambassador Alumni, STEMarts Lab Alumni,  or other specific training related to the project. They facilitate student exchanges with the 8th grade students. They have the opportunity to bring back what they learn to their communities.

STEAM Youth Ambassadors are middle school students that are in the classroom that will be participating in the exchange program. They serve as representatives for their class to communicate to their peers, provide valuable feedback, and help facilitate the project as needed working closely with STEAM Ambassadors as mentors. They have the opportunity to become STEAM Ambassadors on future projects.

All STEAM Ambassadors develop leadership, intercultural communication, ambassadorship and STEAM skills through their participation in the BioSTEAM International program.

 


Amina Abdrazakova, Calgary, Canada

Amina Abdrazakova is an 11th grade student from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is 16 years old and of Kazakhstanis heritage. She was a participant of the Virtual Youth Ambassadors Canadian exchange program in the summer of 2020. Actively participating in Model UN and Students Council, Amina shares a love for the rich cultures and issues of our world. Amina was selected for her strong interpersonal skills, creative thinking and commitment to making the world a better place.


Joana D'Arc Moreira, Janaúba, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Joana is a Youth Ambassador Alumni of the English Immersion Program. She is 20 years old and has been studying International Relations at the Federal University of Uberlândia and is interested in Human-Rights research, especially gender inequality, using education to find solutions for the issues of our world. Joana was selected for her strong communications skills, commitment to international cooperation and her belief that we can make change in the world with small community actions.


Dania Loya, Taos, NM

Dania is from Taos, New Mexico of Mexican heritage. She is a STEMarts alumni, working on STEMarts projects since she was in high school. Since 2014 she has been a PASEO Festival volunteer working with cutting edge new media artists. Dania graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Instructional Technology and Training. She is a multi-media artist working with interactive wearable art and projection mapping focusing on natural technology and Sacred Geometry.  


Elsie Clayton, Taos, NM

Elsie Clayton is an 8th grade student at Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA) and participated as a STEAM Youth Ambassador student lead in the exchange program between Taos, New Mexico and Oeiras, Portugal. Elsie has been participating in STEMarts projects since 4th grade. She has been beta-testing and providing valuable youth feedback on this new international exchange program.  


Amelia Martinez, Taos, NM

Amelia Martinez is an 8th grade student at Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA) and participated as a STEAM Youth Ambassador student lead in the exchange program between Taos, New Mexico and Oeiras, Portugal. Amelia has been participating in STEMarts projects since 4th grade. She has been beta-testing and providing valuable youth feedback on this new international exchange program.

The Space Messengers project is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. Thanks also to our sponsors at the U.S. Embassy of Portugal, Consulate General of Guadalajara, Taos Community Foundation, and the MAE Foundation.