Faculty: Irwin Shapiro (Astrophysics)

Fellow: Anya Yermakova

Professor Irwin Shapiro, in collaboration with Teaching Fellow Anya Yermokova introduced two movement-based “labs” into SPU 22: The Unity of Science, and also added the option to produce a creative final project in lieu of a critical paper. The first movement lab had students participating in a simulation that produced the movement described in Kepler’s law; the second movement lab taught the complicated thermodynamics behind protein folding by means of a series of improvisational movement experiments. In combination with the traditional modes of relating physical processes—text and image—the exercises provided students with an alternative and illuminating perspective on the course material.

In the spirit of these movement labs, students were also allowed the choice to produce a creative final project. Those who chose this option later recorded “artist statements” explaining their decision-making process at the Bok Center, and all students, regardless of the medium of their final project, were issued a final oral exam at the Bok Center, where they were asked to draw and explain key concepts from the course beneath the overhead camera in the Bok Media Lab.


Media, tools, and literacies: dance, space, speaking

Deliverables & outcomes: improved understanding of physics concepts through movement, creative final project, videos of each student's oral exam