The Vibrating Sun, Hidden Patterns
Wyton on the Hill Primary School, Huntingdon, Yrs 5 & 6, 36 children
5 March 2018
Blog by Helen Mason

(click on photos to see more)

The SunSpaceArt day was a huge success and the children have been incredibly positive about their learning experiences. Many are keen to take the project forward and wish to become school STEAM ambassadors so that they can teach the younger children in school.’ (Sarah Poulton, teacher).

What a pleasure it was to spend my birthday, 5 March 2018, with the children at Wyton on the Hill Primary School. We, the SunSpaceArt team (Dr Helen Mason, Geraldine Cox and Dagny Kimberly Yousuf) had planned an ambitious day with Sarah Poulton, the science lead. The aim was to inform the children about the Sun, light, waves and space with a view to enabling them to be STEAM ambassadors for younger children.

We started the day with some thoughts on ‘What the Sun means to me’ and then shared some information and ideas about the Sun and how it affects the Earth’s environment, for example with the beautiful northern lights. We then ran three group science and art activities around the following themes:

  • The Sun’s light: visible and invisible
  • Vibrations – Chladni plate and patterns
  • The aurora and magnets

The children enjoyed these activities and produced some creative art work (UV bookmarks, chromatography, Newton’s colour wheel, vibration patterns, fridge magnets, magnetic connections and poems etc).

In the afternoon, we consolidated what they had learnt and created, then asked them to start designing some workshops for younger children. There were lots of fantastic ideas and they presented these and their plans to each other. Our main challenge was the time constraint, and some children were disappointed that they were not able to do all the practical activities. The teachers felt that we had perhaps tried to fit too much into one day, and that on reflection, two days would have been better.

The children wrote a beautiful Kenning Poem about the Sun and performed it in the school assembly. Their work was displayed on the science noticeboard for all the school to admire. The teacher said: ‘It is clear that the language they have used reflects their learning from the SunSpaceArt day.’ Their art teacher was going to work with them on a Northern Lights project using some of the ideas from the workshop.

Perhaps the children should have the last word: ‘I enjoyed the bookmarks because you can let your mind go crazy’, ‘I learnt that the Sun has spots’,’I enjoyed listening to the sound and designing my own pattern that the salt made on the plate’, ‘I enjoyed planning the lesson’, ‘I learnt that the more spots on the Sun, the more vicious it is’.