In December 2016, Helen Schell led a workshop called ‘Moon Village – Lunar Safety Jacket’ at Liverpool FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) as part of the SunSpaceArt project. She was assisted by Helen Mason, a solar scientist, and Deborah Davidson, Ideas Foundation, together with staff from Liverpool FACT. The workshop participants from Holly Lodge Girls’ College were accompanied by the Head of Art/Design, support staff and sixth formers.

Talks were given about the Sun and Moon by the two Helens. The students were given plenty of information, material and accessories, and were asked to design a lunar safety jacket for the Moon, starting with a ‘Hi Vis’ jacket. The remit was to think about what would be required for a new prototype lunar spacesuit to be used when humans colonise the Moon. The workshop ran from 10am until 2:30pm, including breaks and a tour of the art exhibition ‘No Such Thing as Gravity’.

The students had some great ideas and created some interesting designs for lunar safety jackets. The team helped the students to realise their designs by working with them individually and in teams. Initially they were reticent about space science, but by the end of the workshop found space travel interesting, and some even thought about becoming astronauts. They were also very interested in careers in the Creative Industries, and Deborah was able to advise them about fashion and design.

The Art/Design teacher was very impressed by the workshop and planned to develop these ideas back in school with larger groups of students. The feedback from the students was very positive, with a strong indication that the workshop had developed their creativity, communication and team-working skills. They were all keen to take part in other creative projects and unanimously felt more positive about their potential. Responses included ‘Eye opener on the possibilities of our solar system’, ‘I have learnt about the Sun and Moon. I have also enjoyed designing the Hi Vis jacket’, ‘Enjoyable, I was able to learn a lot about how art impacts science’. The day was packed with activities which meant time got short towards the end and they would have liked a little more making time.

The SunSpaceArt team enjoyed running this workshop, particularly in a venue like Liverpool FACT. The staff there were very friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. It was a very positive environment. The preparation time was significant, especially for Helen Schell, and we all felt rather rushed, but this was balanced with the overall experience for the children in an exciting venue like Liverpool FACT. This innovative and creative workshop is very suitable for Year 9 students, and is ready to run again, if the opportunity arises.

If you wish to know more about the future of Lunar Exploration, Apollo Moon Missions, images and facts, please see this amazing new site set up by ESA –

http://lunarexploration.esa.int/#/intro