From Scientific Data to Art and Music

by Paul Sayed

Last April, EL Education’s Fund for Teachers recognized Conservatory Lab Charter School science teacher Elizabeth Schibuk as a 2018 Fellow. Ms. Schibuk received her fellowship to document the human impact of an increasingly warming planet by researching the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Boston. Through this research, she aimed to create eighth grade STEAM learning that applies artistic practices to the interpretation and modeling of climate science data.

As part of her fellowship, Ms. Schibuk collaborated with former Conservatory Lab resident artist Chris Schroeder to learn from artist Nathalie Miebach. Miebach recently gave a TED Talk called an “Art Made of Storms” where she described her process of taking weather data from massive storms and turning the data into complex, interwoven sculpture that can be read as a musical score. According to Miebach, “weather is an amalgam of systems that is inherently invisible to most of us.” She uses “sculpture and music to make it not just visible but also tactile and audible.”

Click here to view images from the fellowship and read Ms. Schibuk’s interview about the project.

According to Ms. Schibuk:

“Traditionally, failure is chastised in the classroom, especially in math and science classes where there are often non-negotiable correct and incorrect solutions. True science, and the discovery of new knowledge, requires a willingness to iterate and to tease out unconventional ideas. Building content-rich arts-infused projects into science class helps to create an environment where students are less fearful of error.”

Conservatory Lab is excited to see how Ms. Schibuk will apply Miebach’s art-making practice in her science classroom this year!