Project Details


This short-term project will empower young girls from the black community to explore Astronomy through music. The girls will convert NASA data into compositions using data sonification software, allowing users to assign a key, octave range, tempo, and number of notes played per data value. These melodies will be overlaid onto pre-generated tracks heavily influenced by the selection criteria of mood and genre, inspiring the girls to create a piece without requiring music theory experience. They will apply data analysis skills by combining critical thinking to the complexities of their songs as it applies to Astrophysics. Once completed, their families will be invited to the local observatory for a private event where an ensemble will perform their melodies accompanied by a visual presentation of their data. By offering opportunity, recognition, and self-expression, these girls can nurture their interest in science and develop their scientific identities.

Community Impact

Black women face several barriers in pursuing Astronomy and Physics, with young girls often straying from the field due to lack of exposure and relatability. Disinterest in these topics may also be due to traditional teaching methods failing to connect to the students personally. To address this issue, this project relates Astronomy to music, aiming to bridge the gap in Astrophysics knowledge and foster interest in the field, specifically for young girls. In creating a supportive and safe space allowing girls of color to work with legitimate observational Astronomy data and apply the unique lens of music for data analysis, they will develop problem-solving skills, draw conclusions from peer creations, practice discussing their own work, and relate STEM to their personal identities. The outcome is that the girls will have an improved sense of science identity, gain confidence in data analysis skills, and receive recognition for their work leading to heightened self-esteem and motivation towards STEM topics. Additionally, families invited to the Dyer Observatory will have a one-of-a-kind experience, and potential first time exposure to a wonderful science resource in the city of Nashville.