SunSpaceArt links scientists and artists in schools
Dr Helen Mason’s latest project, SunSpaceArt, brings together a team of scientists and artists to work with upper primary and lower secondary age students. The aim is to develop creativity and encourage innovation.
“Astronomy and space science simply grab the imagination!” explains Helen. “Our workshops explore what the Sun means to us here on Earth, how it is just a star like many other stars in the sky, how it was born and will eventually die. We think about how beautiful but fragile our Earth is, as seen from space and how we need to look after it. We think about the possibility of life existing elsewhere in the universe.”
She says that linking science and arts as a cross-curriculum activity both develops creativity and reinforces the science learning. She adds: “It builds confidence in students when they present their work to the rest of the class and sometimes to the whole school. Teachers have found that students with Special Educational Needs respond particularly well, with longer than average attention spans and interest.”
The SunSpaceArt website has activities including worksheets, blogs and videos. Until March 2020 activities were delivered ‘in person’. Then the project had to move online with virtual workshops. This actually enabled us to reach many more students and to involve more scientists, educators, artists, musicians, poets and even a dancer.
SunSpaceArt is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council