ISWA: Immersion in the Science Worlds through Arts


ISWA presents science as a creative and emotional endeavour and strengthens links between science and arts.

The objective of the project is to engage young people in science through arts and arts competitions. The consortium includes several scientists, artists, art critics, film directors, actors, musicians and specialists in science communication. 

ISWA presents artworks based on scientific phenomena created jointly by researchers and artists and encourages students and young people to create their own artworks by organising students competitions. Five artistic areas have been selected:

Modern dance

Cinema (Video)

Contemporary art

Visual arts (imaging)


The ISWA competitions aim to stimulate curiosity and engagement in science by young people in Europe. The underlying idea is to show that scientific ideas may originate from creative and emotional processes commonly attributed to arts.

It is open to young people between the ages of 14–20 EU, FP7 associated countries and Russia. They can participate individually or collectively as school classes. All contributions should be inspired by science or by an encounter with scientists. Aim and regulation of competition are published on the ISWA website 

The winners in each category will be invited to the final event of the ISWA project in February 2013 in Grenoble and awarded with prizes worth EUR 1000.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Other

Coordinator: Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy,

Programme: FP7

Project Acronym:

Target groups: college students, general public, parents, secondary school students, teachers, university lecturers, youth clubs, other

Topic: Education, Other

Start year: 2011

End year: 2013


Contact person: Franco Rustichelli, Università Politecnica delle Marche,F.Rustichelli (at)

The project consortium conducted a state-of-the-art review of the interactions between arts and science, with a particular attention to science education and science communication. The data gained serve as a starting point in defining common criteria for artworks relevant in (science) education. 

The main idea of ISWA project is to use art as an active element of the learning process and an opportunity for students and teachers to involve all their capacities in facing and interpreting a scientific subject. 

One of educational activities carried out in ISWA is to use the EyesWeb platform to create educational tools. EyesWeb is a software to perform research and analysis of human expressive gestures and a research project managed by the University in Genoa aims at exploring and developing models of interaction by extending musical language with gestures and visuals. Within the ISWA project EyesWeb has been employed for designing and developing real-time dance, music, and multimedia applications.

The ISWA website features a library of artworks (photo and video) related to science in general or to specific scientific issues such as nanotechnology, stem cells, relativity and chaos theory, experiments of Large Hadron Collider of Geneva. 

The artworks will be presented at live events and showcasing in different venues in Europe (museums, science centres, academies of art and schools); at the same time they should inspire students to create their own works of arts and give  them the opportunity to meet artists and scientists and share ideas concerning: 

- creativity in art and science; 

- technical aspects connected with the production of artworks; 

- scientific topics. 

Within the project online and face-to-face groups are been created to share artworks and resources on Science and Art field. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, are been widely used to this aim.

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