In preparation for Scouts, we applied the knowledge and experience we had gained from our previous 4D2PS workshops. We decided to set up four stations for the children to be involved in, taking into account the potential Scout group size. We specifically tailored them to the children, making sure they were more interactive, enjoyable and educational. We really enjoyed the opportunity to engage with them and their enthusiasm.
Station 1 – Colouring-in of microscopic images of snake skin.
The children seemed to enjoy the chance of being able to use different media whilst working out the contents of the image. They could draw on their own past experiences to better understand what the microscopic photo could be and how it could be altered in different ways, for example, how snake skin could be seen as crocodile skin. Known in scientific terms as ‘Discovery Learning’, a theory that suggests that the act of discovery is brought upon by combining past experiences and knowledge. Looking back, this workshop was a successful alternative to the other busy stations, on which the children were so intent on using. In the end, the finished images were able to tesselate and form our own enlarged snake, shown by our zine front cover.
Station 2 – Hand held microscope connected to a projector.
There was a lot of excitement around playing with the microscopes. The most interest lay in looking at their skin (fingers, hands, faces), clothing and hair. (See zine blog post for more information)
Station 3 – A more powerful microscope and fruit leather.
The children were intrigued by the process and outcome of the fruit leather, as it was something they had never seen before. The fact that it was made out of dehydrated kiwi fruit meant that the internal structure of the kiwi was on show allowing the children to reflect on what they had already seen using the other microscopes. This workshop was only aimed at the older children (the Scouts) due to its potential to tear.
Ultimately we believe our workshop has been a success as the children expressed enjoyment over the activities we set up for them. Our workshop was later posted on the Scouts Facebook page and other Scout leaders have been in contact with us to ask about the different activities for their own Scouts evenings.
This demonstrated how even though we put on different workshops within the group, based on our research and idiosyncratic talents, reflecting back it showcased how this first collaboration of using a microscope outside the Art college context was the best. Use the link below to see our first workshop together:
Our intention is now to document these workshops in the form of a published zine. We would like to keep the integrity of the experience the children had as original as possible.