Sun, Space and Art

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics

Abstract

The aim of this grant application is to inspire children, by building on the success of the STFC funded 'Sun|trek: Here Comes the Sun' project led by Helen Mason (1/8/16 - 31/7/18), which involves 4 professional artists (Sarah Bidgland, Geraldine Cox, Clare Dudeney & Helen Schell). The demand for the science/art (STEAM) workshops which we have been running in primary schools has been very high. The unique feature of the workshops is that that they are run jointly by scientists and artists. Workshops have so far been run in 7 schools, in different regions, from small rural schools to a large inner city school with more planned. The feedback from teachers and children has been excellent, for example: 'The two days overall were a fantastic experience. The children, myself and other members of staff enjoyed the presentations and hands on practical work. The children gained a lot of knowledge and experience from these sessions.' (Bethan George, teacher, Fochriw primary school, Wales).

This grant would enable us to run three CPD sessions for teachers (involving artists and scientists) in different regions of the UK (Greater Manchester, Wales, Oxfordshire). In addition, we would trial a different type of workshop, helping secondary school children (Yr7) to run STEAM projects with primary school children. A large inner-city girls comprehensive school in London is keen to work with us on this project.

In addition to our original core team and partners (Heather MacRae, Ideas Foundation), another visual artist (Christobel Forbes, Oxford) and a poet (Sam Illingworth, Manchester Metropolitan University, a partner) have joined our team.

In Manchester, we intend to work in partnership with Lynne Bianchi (Director of SEERIH, University of Manchester) to inform and raise awareness of approaches towards Science-Art collaborations in delivering aspects of the KS2 NC. We plan a full day CPD session for primary school teachers in Greater Manchester, hosted by Dr Lynne Bianchi (SEERIH network), involving members of the core team, other artists and scientists. Working with Sam Illingworth, a poet, we are keen to trial a new element of the project which would link to the Literacy curriculum in schools. We aim to engage young researchers and artists from Greater Manchester in the project, supporting them to work with local primary schools. We realise how important it is to link our workshops and resources closely to the KS2 curriculum, and to make information, resources and art work available via a website. We therefore aim to work with an educational consultant, who would be involved in the design and refinement of the learning experience.

At STFC/RAL, we (HEM and artists) plan to run a full day workshop and two twilight sessions, with support from Sophie Palmer (Public Engagement Manager). Alessandra Giunta, a young solar researcher at RAL working on Solar Orbiter has agreed to participate.

In Wales, we shall continue to work in partnership with Emma Wride (Space Made Easy, AstroCymru) and Paul Roche, Cardiff University, to host a CPD session for primary school teachers in Wales and work with some more schools. See letter of support from Paul Roche.

The impact of this project would be to directly reach many teachers, children and schools throughout the UK. We anticipate that participation in CPD workshops would be around 20-25 teachers per CPD session, so we should directly reach 120 teachers, with an additional 10 teachers involved with the KS3/2 workshops. After the CPD sessions, some schools will be able to run STEAM workshops themselves with support from primary science and art teachers. Others would be able to work with young researchers (PhD students and post-docs) and art students.

Our resources will be made available via a dedicated website, which should enable us to reach many more teachers and schools. In addition, the project will be promoted via teacher networks, local and national conferences.

Planned Impact

The material and resources will be made available (to download) via a dedicated website SunSpaceArt, linked closely to the Sun|trek website (www.suntrek.org ) which HEM will manage, with support from her collaborators and an educational consultant, to ensure the best learning experience.

The art work from the project will be showcased locally by schools, on their websites and via social media. An exhibition is planned for the Great Science Share 2018 to be held in Manchester.

The project will be showcased locally and nationally via teachers' networks, newsletters and conferences - ASE, ESERO, STEMLearning, TES, IoP, NAM, Cambridge University etc with full acknowledgement to STFC. In addition, articles will be written for both arts and science magazines/newsletters, for example for the RAS 'Astronomy and Geophysics' magazine.

We have already worked with teachers who are Fellows of the Primary Science Teachers Trust, PSTT, (Kulvinder Johal, Northbury School, Barking; Amanda Poole, Shrublands School, Leamington Spa), and intend to use this network, to write a news item about the project. The PSTT is one of the major networks for primary school science teaching. We have also worked with a school which is part of the Ogden Trust Primary Schools (Phizzy Labs) network - Shrublands School, Leamington Spa, teacher - Amanda Poole, Specialist Science Teacher. Again, we intend to use this network to showcase the STEAM workshops.

Young researchers will be encouraged to engage with the project via networks such as SEERIH, RAS and NAM. Young artists will be approached via local and national artists' networks, and art colleges.

HEM gives many public lectures, and engages with the media, both locally and nationally. She will continue to inform people about this project through her outreach work, both nationally and internationally. HEM has worked with teachers and students in India, via IUCAA SciPop, Pune, and the Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi. She also networks closely with NASA solar outreach workers.

HEM, the artists, collaborators and teachers are very active on social media (twitter) and this is a really good way to spread the word about the project.

Finally STFC Public Engagement networks will be used to promote the project and encourage collaborations. An article will be written for the STFC magazine.

Publications

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Del Zanna Giulio (2018) Solar UV and X-ray spectral diagnostics in Living Reviews in Solar Physics

 
Title Creative Reactions 
Description Creative Reactions links scientists and artists. HEM was linked with Maria Merridan, a Cambridge based artist, who produced some beautiful artwork based on the science of the Sun. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Visual representation of solar science, which reached artistic and scientific audiences. 
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/creativereactions/
 
Title Sun, Space and Art 
Description The SunSpaceArt project runs workshops with scientists and artists in primary schools. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Beautiful artwork has been produced by the school children. 
 
Title CHIANTI - Atomic Database 
Description CHIANTI is an atomic database developed by the Atomic Astrophysics research group at DAMTP, funded by STFC. It is now universally used by the solar physics community for the analysis of solar spectra, and is also widely used in the astrophysical community. Giulio Del Zanna is a key member of the CHIANTI team, and has led several CHIANTI papers and releases. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact CHIANTI has facilitated the analysis of solar spectra leading to over 3350 citations. 
URL http://www.chiantidatabase.org/
 
Description Collaboration with SEERIH, University of Manchester 
Organisation Manchester University
PI Contribution The SunSpaceArt team ran a Continued Professional Development day at SEERIH for 30 primary school teachers.
Collaborator Contribution SEERIH (Through the Science Window), linked with the University of Manchester, hosted a CPD session for teachers for the Sun|trek: Here Comes the Sun Project, with facilities and administrative support.
Impact Teachers were trained to run STEAM (STEM + Art) activities in their schools. They are engaged with this. many schools (14) requested SunSpaceArt workshops to be hosted by their schools. So far, workshops have been run by helen Mason and Helen Schell at four schools in Srockport, with very positive feedback.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ely Cathedral - SunSpaceArt workshops 
Organisation Diocese of Ely
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Have run SunSpaceArt 'family drop-in' sessions annually at the Ely Cathedral Science Festivals
Collaborator Contribution Providing the venue and facilities.
Impact Reaching approximately 200 family members.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Get Space 
Organisation Spacelink Learning Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participation in the annual Get Space workshops for school children organised by SpaceLink. Giving talks and running SunSpaceArt workshops.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitating the Get Space Workshops.
Impact Worked with over 200 children and 20 teachers. The feedback has been superb. 'I found the day amazing. I love science even more now', 'I enjoyed it very much and it was inspiring'. We distributed around 50 STFC leaflets.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Great Science Share 
Organisation Manchester University
PI Contribution The Great Science Share is an annual event involving hundreds of school children. We have participated in this event for several years in collaboration with Lynne Bianchi, Fascinate Science, University of Manchester. We have participated in the event in Manchester several times, and in 2018, joined schools and teachers in London.
Collaborator Contribution The Great Science Share is organised by Lynne Bianchi and colleagues, and has grown each year, until it is now a national event. They provide facilities.
Impact We have reached hundreds of primary school students and teachers.
Start Year 2016
 
Description NASA - Total Eclipse 2017 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NASA Solar expert at Great Smoky Mountains, Eclipse 2017
Collaborator Contribution NASA facilitated a visit to the USA and stay at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I participated in the activities giving a presentation to hundreds of people, and was on NASA TV, reaching thousands.
Impact Public lecture about solar physics reached hundreds of people. TV appearances reached thousands.
Start Year 2017
 
Description RAL Space - school workshops 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department RAL Space
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The SunSpaceArt team have run workshops for school children and Continued Professional Development sessions for teachers at RAL Space.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitiation of these activities (admin, venue, refreshments) plus participation by Alessandra Giunta, Solar Orbiter team at RAL Space.
Impact Workshops for over 70 primary school children and 10 teachers.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Royal Observatory Greenwich 
Organisation Royal Observatory Greenwich
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Participation in a number of activities aimed at the public and school children, talks about the Sun and STFC funded solar research.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitating these activities, making a video for social media.
Impact Reaching around 300 members of the public and students.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Science and creativity with the Ideas Foundation 
Organisation The Ideas Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I have been working together with the Ideas Foundation to develop and provide activities for school students, in particular relating science (Sun, space) with creative activities (art, design). We have engaged with a school in Liverpool and a school in Essex, more recently in Maidstone and Greater Manchester.
Collaborator Contribution The Ideas Foundation provide the creative input, and networking opportunities.
Impact Workshops have been run at LiverpoolFACT and Hockerill Anglo-European College, Maidstone Arts Festival and in Greater Manchester.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK Space Agency: Space to Earth Challenge 
Organisation UK Space Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Participation in UK Space Agengy Educational activities #Principia linked to Tim Peake's flight on the ISS. In particular, member of Space to Earth Challenge team, provided educational resources, visited many schools, gave CPD to teachers
Collaborator Contribution Providing networking opportunities, links to schools etc.
Impact Increased interaction with UK schools, teachers and students. Invitation to give talks. Higher profile nationally.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Atomic Astrophysics Group, in particular Helen Mason and Giulio Del Zanna, with post-docs and graduate students, regularly participate in the Biennial Open Day at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge. They showcase their STFC funded solar research activities and handed out information about STFC science, including around 100 STFC leaflets. This event is always very popular and the number of people reached is thousands. The team engage individuals, both adults and children, with posters, discussions, videos and interactive activities. The people expressed their thanks and appreciation of this outreach activity. The public report an interest in the topic and an increase in their knowledge about solar space research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2017,2019
 
Description HEM promoting solar science on social media - twitter and facebook 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact HEM has very active Twitter and Facebook sites reaching thousands. Posts about space science, astronomy, NASA, ESA, STFC, school activities, Women in STEM, science and art etc. People oftne share or retweet posts about solar science or SunSpaceArt workshops. They express interest and share with others. STFC often shares HEM's posts. Connections are made with teachers, who request more information or school workshops. People often express an increase in their knowledge about the Sun and space.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
URL https://twitter.com/helen_hm11
 
Description Public lectures and talks at schools by Helen Mason 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given over 30 talks to schools and public lectures in the past 30 months. These have been to students of all ages, primary, secondary, sixth formers, undergraduates and post-graduates. In addition there have been talks to Astronomy Clubs, branches of the IoP, Women in Science Events, Science Festivals, Solar Sphere Festival, at the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Observatory Greenwich. She has reached well over 1000 people. The feedback has been very good, leading to further requests for talks. She has distributed information about STFC science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Science Museum - The Sun Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The SunSpaceArt team have engaged with several events and activities related to 'the Sun - Living with our Star' exhibition at the Science Museum, London (a Panel discission for 8Mins dance, 5 Oct. 2018, Family Sun Festivals, 3 & 4 Nov., 2018, 2 & 3 March 2019, the Lates, 28 Nov. 2018, the 'Night Owls', 8 Dec. 2018. The team engaged with over 1300 people, adults and children, the participants stayed on average 30mins doing SunSpaceArt activities. The team answered many questions about solar research, and gave out over 500 STFC leaflets. The feedback from individuals and the Science museum has been exceptional. The team have been invited back to the Science Museum for other events. They have also subsequently been contacted by school teachers and other individuals seeking further information. The SunSpaceArt team also invited two younger researchers to join them, as a training exercise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/the-sun-living-with-our-star
 
Description SunSpaceArt Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact SunSpaceArt workshops have been run in over 60 schools across the UK. Artists and scientists have been working together with the children and teachers to enhance scientific knowledge and creativity. The workshops have been very successful, with a high demand for more from many teachers and schools across the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Talks relating to Women in Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given many talks about her own career, relating to careers for Women in Science (some are on-line). She gave a talk at the RAS for International Women's Day, a keynote address for Cambridge AWISE and talks to STEM undergraduates in Bath (Feb. 2019) and UCL (Jan 2019) about her career in solar space science. The young students and postgraduates asked many questions about the science and about careers. She has had several blogs written about her, for example by the European Geophysical Union.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://blogs.egu.eu/divisions/st/2017/12/15/dr-helen-mason-solar-space-missions-a-life-with-the-sun...
 
Description Talks to Sixth Form students about Solar Space Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given talks to many sixth form students at their schools and at school conferences. the students are always eager to learn about solar space science, what we have learnt and future projects, such as ESA's solar Orbiter. They ask some very interesting questions. They are keen to learn more about career opportunities in STEM subjects. As a consequence, HEM has been invited to visit other schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Work with schools and teachers in India 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Helen Mason has worked with many teachers and school children in India, during her visits in November 2016, 2017 and 2018. This work has been carried out mainly at IUCAA, Pune, India, but also at the Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi. She has given several public lectures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL http://punemirror.indiatimes.com/pune/cover-story//articleshow/31241616.cms
 
Description Workshops, training events for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The SunSpaceArt team led by Helen Mason have run many training events for primary school teachers, with ESERO, at the ASE, with SEERIH (University of Manchester), RAL, Space Camps UK and locally. The teachers have expressed a great interest in the SunSpaceArt project, requesting further information and visits to schools. The team have distributed hundreds of STFC leaflets (Sun and Moon) and informed individuals about how to order them online..
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019