The weather in Manchester was freezing cold, with flurries of snow, but the welcome inside from the schools in Greater Manchester was very warm. In February 2018, Helen Schell, artist and STEAM educator, and Dr Helen Mason, solar scientist, went up to Salford to work with Deborah Davidson, designer and educator, Ideas Foundation and Comino Foundation.The four schools we worked with were:
- The Derby High School, Bury
- Falinge Park High School, Rochdale
- Abraham Moss Community School, Crumpsall
- St Ambrose Barlow High School, Salford
Helen Schell designed and led the SunSpaceArt workshops on ‘The Sun and a Moon Village (Smart Materials) – Design Project’. The first part of each half-day session was made up of presentations by the two Helens, Q&A and discussion about solar science and lunar missions, concerning human spaceflight and future colonisation. The students were also shown the ESA Moon village video. The students then had about an hour to design and plan a future vision about humans living on the Moon. The students were provided with Moon facts & the Sun (STFC) reference leaflets, images of the Moon, spacecraft and spacesuits.
Several topics were suggested within the context of solar science, lunar exploration and smart materials wearable technology –
- Solar technology (energy),
- Lunar Mining & Industry
- Moon Village – Architecture, Living and Community
- Moon Tourism
- Moon Base and Mars Training Facility
- Lunar Space Station (Deep Space Gateway)
- Spacesuits, Robots & Moon fashions
The students were divided into small design groups of 3-4, and each asked to choose a ‘Mission Team’ name then devise and create a lunar themed project using paper, art materials, bits and pieces (of junk!) and smart materials. We had a short show & tell at the end, where the children presented their ideas with some technical details and context for lunar colonisation. The students seemed to really enjoy this creative STEAM activity, which reinforced their knowledge about space. They had lots of very interesting ideas and questions.
Check out these online resources for research & development:
ESA – lunar exploration;
Space to Earth Challenge: Smart materials;
Helen Schell: artwork.