We had great time on yesterday’s field trip to Fermilab. Chicago Kaleidoscopes took a bus trip from Mozart Park to Fermilab in Batavia, and we were met by Fermilab staff in front of Wilson Hall. Docents gave us a tour — which included a focus on particle physics, how science has influenced the arts and vice versa (e.g. how James Joyce’s neologism “quark” was chosen by a physicist to name a subatomic particle, how several of our CK sessions included preparations for our field trip (e.g. the “Poetry of Science” conversation with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins), and pop culture connections to what happens at Fermilab (e.g. The Big Bang Theory TV show). The view from the 15th floor of Wilson Hall is extraordinary, with a view of the Main Ring and the Tevatron accelerator, a vista of the surrounding prairie, and the Chicago skyline on the horizon.
Then we took the elevator to the second floor, and we finished our trip to Fermilab by experiencing the On that Note exhibition in the art gallery. We had a musical jam session in the gallery, and then we headed back to the bus for our trip back to Chicago.
Here are some audio tracks of CK teens playing music in the Fermilab Art Gallery and talking about ideas about superpowers that relate to altering laws of physics. Here are audio recordings of short stories that CK teens created in collaborative groups; each of these pieces of short fiction uses Fermilab in an inventive way.
Special thanks to Georgia Schwender, Anne Mary Teichert, Dee Huie, and Kurt Riesselman at Fermilab for helping us with our field trip.