Come Alive with Science is a programme running across the East Midlands that aims to encourage young people to regard science as a creative area.
I got involved with it last year and worked with movement artist Miriam Keye to get 20 under-enthused Year 8 pupils to the point where they designed, planned and presented their own interactive science fair.
This year I’m working with Dean the Art Wizard and 20 ‘Gifted and Talented’ [a definition here] Year 10 pupils from King Edward VII Science and Sport College. The pupils will spend some time developing projects before going as small groups of Science Ambassadors into feeder schools and running activities with younger children. As part of National Science and Engineering Week in March, they will also host activities at King Edward’s as part of an open evening.
Yesterday Dean and I spent the whole day with the soon-to-be ambassadors: we introduced our practices and I did a presentation around the theme of materials selection in sport. Dr Lewis, the science teacher we are collaborating with wanted the project to use recycled (reused?) materials and to tie in with the Olympics, so we then presented the pupils with a pile of junk materials and the challenge to design a sport to take into the feeder schools as an activity.
We used an iterative process of first generating wild and exciting ideas and then over a few more passes eventually distilling these down into things that kept the kernel of what made the original ideas exciting, but were realistic for taking into primary schools and doing with a few classes of young children over a couple of hours.
We finished off by documenting the process and by starting to write up rule-sets for the new sports.
The Year 10 pupils will me a few more times to refine their projects and then Dean and I will accompany them into about 6 different schools to roll out their activities. I’ve no idea what to expect.