I borrow the inspiring title ‘Solar Creativity’ of this SunSpaceArt entry from Kingsley Community Primary School in Cheshire where I (and Clare Dudeney, artist) spent a wonderful day discussing the Universe, our Sun and Earth with 10 to 11 year old students. Their concentration, enthusiasm, insight and creativity shone brightly.
We did experiments – measuring gravity with a pendulum and discovering magnetic field lines around a magnet; made artworks – collages, drawings and sculptures; wrote and illustrated books, read poetry and shared questions, information and imaginings.
The Sun hid behind a cloud all day, but loomed large in our imaginations as we discussed its source of power, its changing magnetic field, cycles of activity and relations with our earth and ourselves.
The teacher felt that sparks of creativity were ignited:
‘Many thanks once again for yesterday’s workshop. The children were clearly fascinated by the whole presentation and absorbed a wealth of information. Thanks for all the hard work you put in; the presentation was pitched perfectly to challenge and expose the children to those more tricky concepts that will, I’m sure, ignite those sparks of interest. And they are extremely proud of their artwork!’
Every student seemed to find something they enjoyed:
‘I enjoyed doing the collages because I love art and it was really fun creating pictures with paper.’
‘I enjoyed doing the magnet thing the most because I did a lot of arrows and eventually got the pattern.’
‘I enjoyed writing my book on the life of the Sun because it was fun to draw the supernova. Also, I had learnt about the Sun, so it was much easier to do.’
‘I enjoyed the gravity measuring because it was really fun and really interesting. I also liked the painting the earth it was just really fun as well and messy.’
‘The thing I enjoyed was the paper collage because it was fun and I learnt you can’t just stick big pieces, you have to use very small pieces.’