March 16, 17, 18: SciArt Collaboration Presentations, Performances, and Exhibits

This photo shows a young woman seated on the floor with two young children who are drawing pictures. Video cameras are set up around them.
Dr. Vanessa Diaz and her work with science identity in children is one of the SciArt collaborations that will be presented during Communicating Science Week. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Diaz.

How can dance benefit engineering graduate students? Can developmental psychology research be communicated by song? What does ping pong have to do with community wealth building? How does an art installation illuminate the impacts of invasive plants?

Several months ago we reported on eight exciting science-art collaborations sparked and funded by the Center for Communicating Science through grants from Virginia Tech’s Center for Coastal Studies and Equity and Social Disparity in the Human Condition destination area. During Communicating Science Week, we’ll all have the opportunity to learn more about these collaborators and their projects.

A Center for Communicating Science “collaboration incubator” last May brought together 26 researchers and artists for collaboration skills-building exercises, opportunities to learn about one another’s work, and time and space to incubate ideas. Eight sets of collaborators have been working together since then. We invite you to learn about their projects! Below is the schedule of performances, exhibits, and talks.

Wednesday, March 16

12 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “Invasive Exegesis: Shedding light on the impacts of invasive plants in Appalachia”

Dr. Jacob Barney and David Franusich

Do you know what’s growing in your garden? On the side of the road? Or in your favorite spot in Jefferson National Forest? Join plant ecologist Dr. Jacob Barney and multimedia artist David Franusich as they present their SciArt Collaboration work creating a multi-sensory art installation to illuminate the socio-ecological impacts of invasive plant species in Appalachia, exploring both the connection between people and invasive plants and the consequences of the unchecked spread of these species.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

12:30 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “Discover Chub – Builders of Deerfield Trail

Learn about how graduate students are being included not only in research about the Bluehead Chub but also in creating artistic representations of this research. This presentation about the SciArt Collaboration between fish and wildlife conservation faculty member Dr. Emmanuel Frimpong and his lab and Dr. Eugene Maurakis, C. Meranda Flachs-Surmanek, and Hiromi Okumura will teach you about a fascinating fish and the value of collaboration.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

Thursday March 17

12 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “From Ping Pong to Community Wealth & Collaboration”

Dr. Ralph Hall and Steven T. Licardi

Learn about alternatives to our current economic system through ping pong and theater performances in this SciArt collaboration presentation by Virginia Tech urban affairs and planning associate professor Dr. Ralph Hall and spoken word poet Steven T. Licardi.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

4 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “Artistic Exploration of Children’s Cognitive Development: Who Can Be a Scientist?”

Do you want to learn how childhood psychological research can be transformed through multiple artistic processes like music, video production, and poetry? Join Dr. Vanessa Diaz, Zach Duer, Erika Meitner, Dr. Charles Nichols, and Ariana Wyatt for this SciArt Collaboration presentation and learn about the development of science identity in children, too!

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

5 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “The Urgent Marvels of Coastal Science Exhibition”

Interested in an interactive exhibition where aerial arts and science collide? Civil and environmental engineering faculty member Dr. Nina Stark and aerial performance artist Lynsey Grace Wyatt lead this SciArt Collaboration presentation addressing climate change and storm impacts in North Atlantic coastal communities. Together they will demonstrate how art can elevate the vital efforts of scientific research, asking viewers to ponder the impact of coastal storms and the impact and urgency of these shifts.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

Friday, March 18th

9 a.m. ICAT Play Date: “SciArt Fusion: Discoveries from Experiments in SciArt Collaboration”

Do science and art go together like peanut butter and jelly? Join us in the Creativity and Innovation District Living and Learning Community common space for a 30-minute tour through eight SciArt collaborations. Come at 8:30 for coffee and doughnuts! Program begins at 9. Registration not required; livestreaming available through the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) website.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg

12 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “Thinking Like an Aspen: Enhancing Resiliency Through Transnational Coalitions

How do people navigate crises, especially when the government and other forms of support stop functioning? English faculty member Dr. Sweta Baniya and her students have explored this question by looking at Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, wildfires in California, and many more moments of disaster. We invite you to experience some of what their research has uncovered with the help of an audio journey created by Baniya and Daniel Bird Tobin. Come find out why disaster response and community-building should be more like a forest of aspens.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

12:30 p.m. SciArt Collaboration: “Building Personal Resilience for Engineers Through Dance Training”

Find out about how dance and movement training can help engineering students gain confidence and improve interpersonal communication by simulating new social experiences in the field. This SciArt Collaboration presentation is led by Dr. Nina Stark from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Rachel Rugh from the Department of Theatre and Cinema here at Virginia Tech.

This event is open to the public without charge.

Location: Creativity and Innovation District (CID) residence hall common space (first floor), 185 Kent Street, Blacksburg.

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