Postcards and Flags of the Solar System
Armagh Planetarium and Observatory, Yr5 & Yr6, about 200 children
2 & 3 October 2017
Blog by Geraldine Cox and Helen Mason

(click on photos to see more)

‘The buzz among he children was tangible and their art work inspirational’. John News, Head of Education at Armagh Planetarium and Observatory.

We, artist Geraldine Cox and solar scientist Dr Helen Mason, spent two inspiring days at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland running workshops with over 200 local school children, aged 8-9 years. We had help from local astronomer and artist, Miruna Popescu, also local postdocs and staff. We interwove the SunSpaceArt workshops with talks and visits around the Planetarium.

The schools participating included:

  • Park, Queen Elizabeth II Primary School
  • St Ronan’s Primary School
  • St Tierney’s Primary School
  • Ballymagee Primary School
  • Orchard County Primary School

We cast our imaginations across the Solar System and explored the possibilities for creating flags for the planets and sending postcards from space. Above is a flag for Mars by Brian. The design is rich in symbolism. At the ‘show-and-tell’, Brian explained how the star shape extends a warm welcome to all who visit and the other elements emphasise how everyone is invited no matter from where they come. What a wonderful vision for planetary exploration. Above are a few more of the many beautiful and fascinating artistic creations. The teachers and children thoroughly enjoyed the activities.

The project was funded through an STFC SPARKS award held by Prof Gerry Doyle.