General Questions

What is the AstroBeats Project?

This project empowers young girls from the black community to explore Astronomy and Physics through music. Girls will create compositions from science data expressing their individuality while fostering critical thinking skills as they apply to their pieces.


Why is it targeted to a specific demographic?

This project was designed by black women for black women, with a specific focus on empowering young girls to explore Astronomy and Physics through the lens of music. The lack of exposure and relatability to these STEM subjects often hinders their participation, and so our main goal is to bridge this gap and enhance their scientific identities.

Applications and Eligibility

How do I apply?

Please see the ‘Apply Now’ tab on the homepage to fill out an application.


Is previous experience in music or science necessary?

No, though an interest in Astronomy, Physics, or general STEM is encouraged.


When do applications open?

Applications will open in early October. The deadline to apply is October 20th.


Who is eligible to apply?

All Black-identifying girls are encouraged to apply, with priority given to those in 7th and 8th grade. Those with limited or no prior STEM enrichment experiences are especially encouraged to apply.


I will be joining middle school next fall, can I apply?

Applicants below 7th grade must provide evidence of additional exposure to or achievement in higher-level science to be considered. Space permitting, we will also consider those at the high-school level.


Is it free?



What if my application gets denied?

Due to limited space in this project, we are unable to offer spots to every applicant. Please do not feel discouraged if your application is not accepted. Seeking out enrichment opportunities is a fantastic step toward your STEM journey, and you are encouraged to explore the resources page and look for other opportunities in the area.

Project Details

Who is assisting with this project?

This project is led by Shaniya Jarrett, the project organizer, who will provide instruction and guidance to the participants as they create their compositions. In addition, there will be two teaching assistants dedicated to facilitating the project. For more details about the organizing team, please refer to the ‘Team’ tab.


When is the project? 

The project is scheduled to begin in the final week of October and extend through the first week of November. The predetermined dates are from October 27th to November 4th, with week day sessions running from 3 pm to 5 pm and weekend sessions from 10 am to 3 pm, with one hour for lunch. Specific days and times within this period can be adjusted to accommodate the availability of applicants. After project completion, the girls’ compositions will be showcased at the Dyer Observatory approximately two weeks later in mid-November.


Where will the project take place?

The project will be hosted at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, situated on the Peabody campus.


What activities will the girls be doing each day?

During the project, the girls will engage in the following activities:

Day 1: Astrophysical lessons, interactive activities.
Day 2: Composition development. 
Day 3: Completion of compositions, data set creation, and data analysis.
Day 4: Creating small posters and practicing a brief music/data explanation for the private Observatory event.


Do I need a laptop to apply?

No, Laptops will be used in this project and if you do not have one, we will arrange for one to be available to you.


Will transporation be provided?

Unfortunately, transportation is not provided. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for drop-off and pick-up at designated program times and locations. If you anticipate transportation challenges, please let us know, and we’ll try to assist where we can.


Will meals be provided?

Snacks will be provided on weekdays and lunch will be provided on weekends.


Will the girls receive ay certificates or recognition for their participation?

Absolutely! Each girl will receive a participation certificate, and we will recognize those who put in exceptional effort with an award.


How will the girls music be used or shared after the project

Music compositions will be uploaded to a designated music platform, such as YouTube or SoundCloud. Additionally, they will be featured on our project website under the ‘Music’ section and shared with the project sponsors. We strongly encourage the participants to proactively share their posters and musical works within their school and community to continue fostering a sense of engagement and identity in science.

Get Involved

How else can I be involved in my child’s STEM education?

Please see the resources section on the home page.


Are there other opportunities to visit the Dyer Observatory?

Absolutely! Dyer is open to the community and holds a number of Dyer Observatory Events. We highly recommend visiting.


Can other schools or education institutions collaborate with this project in the future?

Please contact  the project organizer, Shaniya Jarrett at Shaniya.m.jarrett@vanderbilt.edu for collaborative inquiries.