Teacher Tools

The Teacher Tools contain the lesson/activity guides below which can be implemented in your classroom to engage your students in the Space Messengers project. Through these activities students will explore the universe to develop artistic, scientific and humanistic literacy, and expand their identity as planetary citizens. The activities are aligned with the national science standards (NGSS) for middle and high school students. Through this project students will contribute their 'space messages' which become part of the final Space Messengers mixed reality sci-art installation that travels the world.

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, Creative Team, Videos and Installation. The Design Tool is the Get Started guide that takes you through the stages of the design process to complete the project. The Installation page has all the information about the Space Messengers installation and the artists. Creative Team shows all the artists and interdisciplinary speakers that are part of the creation of Space Messengers Videos page includes the video presentations of each interdiscipinary workshop guest that has contributed to the Space Messengers project. The STEMarts Standards page provides a breakdown of how each project aligns with national and international standards.


Begin the Journey

In this lesson you will prepare your students for the Space Messengers project, a multi-school and multi-country collaboration where students explore the universe through the diverse perspectives of experts in the field of science, art, philosophy, futures thinking and culture. Our hope is to expand our awareness, understanding and connection to the universe as planetary citizens. Students process and communicate what they learn by creating 'space messages' which become part of the final Mixed Reality sci-art installation to be presented at festivals around the world.


Science, Art & Philosophy

In this lesson students will hear from Dr. Catarina Pombo Nabais, Science/art curator and philosopher of science. She shares how philosophy, art and science are unique and different ways of understanding the world around us. In her video she shows how artists use their imagination to imagine new ways to see and understand the universe through physical creations and how their ideas often inspire or inform science, and vice versa.


Multi Messenger Astronomy

In this lesson, Astrophysicist, Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning explains the fabric of space/time, gravitational waves and how it is that we originate from exploding stars. Students discover how ripples in space-time from two black holes colliding can be felt here on earth revealing how interconnected we are to what is called ‘outer’ space. They learn how different particles from space send us messages that reveal different dimensions of our universe- which inspired the title of this project - Space Messengers. Video


Building an Anti-Colonial Policy Framework for Space Exploration

In this lesson, Frank Tavares, Affiliated Researcher, Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, shares with us how space exploration today is accelerating and offering amazing possibilities for our future. Yet at the same time we are often repeating the ways of thinking from our past that created the environmental and social problems of the present. Students will learn about bio-spills on Mars, satellite pollution and moon advertising and mining. He shows how using science fiction is a powerful tool to imagine alternative futures for space exploration that are more sustainable and equitable.


Body as Language

In this lesson called Body as Language students will meet the  lead artist, Markus Dorninger and the Space Messengers team. They will discover how he utilizes his technical and artistic expertise to bring together all the components that create the final immersive installation. Students learn about projection art, generative coding, interactive sensors, data visualization and virtual reality. The final interactive installation generates and projects the 'space messages' collected from participating students and the live audience. For the activity students will use their creativity and imagination to develop gestural silhouettes that express our connection to the universe and to each other.


Particle Physics Meets Lakota Cosmology

In this lesson students will learn about Western and Indigenous Sciences to bring unique perspectives to the questions: Where do we come from? How are we connected to the universe? What is our responsibility to our world and future? We meet Dr. Steven Goldfarb, a particle physicist at CERN who will answer questions about how physicists explore the universe. The we hear from Steve Tamayo, a Lakota artist and cultural specialist. Indigenous science incorporates traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous perspectives, while non-Indigenous scientific approaches are commonly recognized as Western science. In this lesson students hear both perspectives from experts in the field and discover how they each contribute to modern science and combined provide a greater understanding of the universe.


The Next Frontier: An Introduction to Space Law

In this lesson, Michelle Hanlon, Co-Director, Center for Air and Space Law and founder of In Moon Kind, will take us through the evolution of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which was created to assure that space will be used for peaceful and humanitarian purposes. Students explore the question, where are we now and how can we assure that space will remain a common good for all?



Futures Thinking: Reimagining Humanity

In this lesson students synthesize what they have learned through the topic called Futures Thinking: Reimagining Humanity. They will hear from experts and learn about ‘futures thinking’ and how it is applied to solve global problems and in our everyday life. They will use these ideas to synthesize what they have learned through writing and drawing activities. Futures Thinking tells us that the future is not something that will happen to you tomorrow but is being created by everyone today. Future Thinking is a mindset and we are all Future Imaginers! (Riel Miller, 2003)

BioSTEAM Teacher Wiki

We are living in a transformative century where new scientific discoveries and technologies are radically reframing they way we think and interact in every aspect of our lives with the potential to expand our worldview and sense of self. How can an expanded sense of self be explored through the merging of art and culture with science and technology? How can this exploration develop empathy and a deeper connection to our humanity and nature? Never before has it been so urgent for our youth to be prepared to solve local and global humanitarian and environmental challenges.  These challenges require out of the box creative thinking and unique transdisciplinary skills inherent in STEAM education.

So why is the path to creating integrated STEAM activities in our schools and classrooms so challenging and overwhelming? Why are we so resistant to learning new technologies? How can STEM/STEAM activities be more culturally responsive? How can "I" integrate science if I am not a scientist? How can "I" integrate art if I am not an artist? How do we create interdisciplinary projects within the constraints of the 20th century structured classroom? These are questions that we are continually addressing through the STEMarts Lab. The BioSTEAM Teacher Wiki below has links to articles, posts and research that explore these underlying questions and can provide insight and inspiration. We also include links with background information on science discoveries, fields of study or art genres referred to in the BioSTEAM projects that may be new to you. Select specific topics from the Word Cloud or select VIEW ALL in the Word Cloud to see all entries. The size of the word is proportional to the amount of links under that topic.