Exploring, Imagining and Creating Our 3D Universe

Lead Research Organisation: AstroCymru (Wales)
Department Name: Education and Outreach

Abstract

This project aims to increase:

- enjoyment and engagement in cross-curricular STEAM lessons using space as a context
- pupil aspirations and attainment levels in STEAM subjects
- knowledge of higher education and career opportunities available to pupils who study STEAM
- teacher confidence in teaching space topics in the classroom
- teacher knowledge of STFC and ESERO resources and supporting websites

The aim of this project is to inspire students from low science capital areas to continue an interest in STEAM subjects by exposing them to a variety of astronomy and space topics. Using our proven awe-inspiring 3D educational space shows and hands-on fun, engaging 3D Space/Art workshops, AstroCymru will focus on inspiring the next generation of space scientists and artists as well as highlighting the benefits of further studying STEAM.

We also intend to increase awareness of the many different careers in the space industry and the arts sector. This will support raising attainment levels and career aspirations of pupils living in areas of high unemployment and child deprivation.
Extensive experience of working in primary schools in these areas has shown that pupils are unaware of the various career paths in the space industry and many have never heard of the UK Space Agency. AstroCymru will raise awareness of STFC facilities, STFC research and future career opportunities.

Planned Impact

AstroCymru will deliver to 25 schools, including 1 SEN school across Rhondda Valleys the following:

A half day 3D educational shows and half day 3D Art workshops (year 5 or 6) reaching ~ 750 pupils
A CPD session to each school, (~10 per school) reaching ~ 250 teachers who can inform other schools of our project
An Exhibition for parents/guardians of pupils (1 per pupil) reaching ~ 750 families.

Flyers with information of project will be distributed at large events that AstroCymru collaborates with regularly such as:
National Museum of Wales - Star Attractions Day, which last year had 4000 visitors,
National Botanical Gardens - Great Science Share over 400 visitors
SolarSphere Festival - Music and Astronomy over 400 visitors
Swansea Waterfront Museum - Stargazing Family Day over 1000 visitors.


AstroCymru regularly collaborates with various space scientists across the Astronomy and Space sector and networks by having stands at exhibitions such as European Astrofest held annually in London. AstroCymru collaborated with U.K. Space Agency at this years U.K. Space Agency's Conference in Newport. Local Year 8 Secondary Schools that AstroCymru worked with over the year as part of Cardiff University's Trio Sci Cymru project were invited to the conference and attended a Tim Peake presentation with photo opportunities. These large scale events are attended by many scientists and engineers across the field and will be used to communicate our project successes. Our AstroCymru Twitter and Facebook and Instagram page will be used to publicise the work pupils have produced, advertise our project and promote STFC to not only a like minded audience but also general public.
AstroCymru regularly attends conferences such as NAM and IOP Wales events allowing networking with science researchers and also attends events held by ASE, Association of Science Education - Primary and the Primary Science Teachers Trust. This will allow us disseminate project to both the research and educational communities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Cardiff Science Festival 
Organisation Cardiff University
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I presented art techniques from this project to general public at an online festival
Collaborator Contribution Cardiff Science Festival allocated time for me to present this project.
Impact Due to COVID restrictions, this years festival was delivered online. Next year if possible this project can be delivered at Cardiff Science Festival to the families in person.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Elan Valley Dark Sky Online Festival 
Organisation Elan Valley Visitors Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I presented my project at the Dark Sky online festival
Collaborator Contribution They hosted the online Dark Sky festival
Impact When Lockdown restrictions are over. We plan to deliver the project at the Elan Valley Visitors Centre to the general public.
Start Year 2020
 
Description STEAM Festival 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As I am also involved in the SunSpaceArt team who organised the festival. I delivered art techniques from this project to the online audience.
Collaborator Contribution The SunSpaceArt project held an online STEAM Festival and dedicated time for me to talk about art techniques used in this project. This project is a direct spin off of the SunSpaceArt project and collaborations at public events will continue going forward.
Impact The online STEAM Festival was ideal for networking with other STFC grant holders. It directly put me in touch with Great Science Share organizer and has resulted in this project taking part in this years Great Science Share Project in June.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Solarsphere Online Festival 
Organisation SolarSphere Festival
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I presented project at Solarsphere festival
Collaborator Contribution They organised and hosted online festival
Impact When lockdown restrictions are over, this project will be delivered at the Solarsphere Astronomy and Music festival
Start Year 2020
 
Description Space in the Classroom CPD 
Organisation Techniquest
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I delivered a CPD session to 45 Welsh primary school teachers
Collaborator Contribution Techniquest invited the teachers organised the CPD and hosted the event
Impact This event has exposed this project to 45 schools across Wales with the potential for school visits. When COVID restrictions allow for Science Centres to be open, CPD's will be hosted in house.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Elan Valley Dark Sky Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This online festival was arranged to provide families with space related activities to do at home during the Lockdown period. It was delivered using Zoom and broadcast on YouTube. For child safeguarding reasons comments were not permitted.
I presented 3D art techniques to produce Pop-up cards and 3D Collages.
Demonstrated other STFC projects such as SunSpaceArt and Stardust Hunters and
directed audience to STFC website, resources and publications as well as UKSA and ESERO websites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description STEAM Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This 12 hour online festival was organised by Dr Helen Mason (SunSpaceArt project), myself and Pete Williamson (Solarsphere Festival). I co-hosted for 10 hours and presented this project, my involvement with SunSpaceArt project and co presented STFC's Stardust Hunters project with DR Sarah Roberts.
Various other STFC projects were presented throughout the day with STFC grant holders
The Great Science Share delivered a talk and has since contacted me for this project to be involved in the next Great Science Share in June and plans are in progress.
This event was aimed at teachers, primary and secondary school pupils, families and general public, to raise awareness of STFC projects, the space industry and to promote STEAM activities that can be reproduced at home during COVID lockdown.
A panel discussion with artists, scientists and teachers was held to discuss the benefit of using STEAM in the classroom for pupils.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w4eDkFNbCY&t=23153s
 
Description Solarsphere Christmas Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Astronomy and music based festival to demonstrate space related activities that can be done at home during lockdown.
This was recorded on Zoom and broadcast live on YouTube as well as AstroRadio.
3D art techniques from this project was demonstrated in order to make pop-up cards, 3D collages and 3D boxes.
Other STFC projects were also presented such as, SunSpaceArt and Stardust Hunters.
STFC website and downloadable resources and publications for families to use at home.
UKSA, ESA and ESERO websites for space related activities.
This project and other STFC projects will be delivered at Solarsphere Astronomy and Music festival when COVID restrictions are eased and mass gatherings are possible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMwGjyd7dRA&t=9408s
 
Description Space Activities at Home at Cardiff Science Festival 
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 Cardiff Science Festival runs annually delivering lots of science based activities. AstroCymru has attended every year delivering various space based activities. Due to COVID this year the festival was held online. I presented Art techniques from this project to a Zoom audience of 36. I also presented and demonstrated the SunSpaceArt and Stardust Hunters project.
STFC website was shown to inform the public of downloadable resources with activities they can do at home.
A question and answer session on space topics was included at the end
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Space in the Classroom CPD session with Techniquest. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This CPD session was organised to raise awareness of STFC projects that can enhance pupils learning when doing their space topic. Topics included:
This project EICOU, using 3D art techniques,
SunSpaceArt project,
Stardust Hunters project,
STFC website for resources and publications to use in the classroom,
UKSA, ESA, ESERO websites for resources and careers in space industry.
Teachers are keen to be involved in the various STFC projects. When school visits are possible, this and other STFC projects can be delivered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020