Scouts publicising our workshop online

dfgh

After the success of the Scout’s workshop, we were further honoured with a mention on the Scouts website and Facebook page. Already I have had messages from other groups on how to run this workshop, providing us with the unplanned opportunity to inspire more kids around London to pick up their microscopes in an attempt to really demonstrate how the combination of science and art can be fun.

 

Scouts Workshop

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.

18452677_1237184613059788_1111271257_o.jpg

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)

Making a Zine

18493172_1237184569726459_276001727_o

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.

18452403_1237184663059783_197933606_o

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:

Microscope images… Taking it one step further

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.

Fruit Leather Workshop

Having used Fruit Leather in the past, there has been a realisation that this material is widely unknown. Through the process of dehydration the internal flesh of kiwis, with added honey, solidifies into a thin malleable layer after staying in the oven for around 5 hours at 60-70°C.

18516806_10208829707595809_1990259239_o18493521_10208829708115822_1317522491_o18493057_10208829707955818_10362393_o18471799_10208829707835815_1729820554_o18493019_10208829707435805_1452439398_o

From this, we made individual cells and began to make our own skin. The translucent structure becomes reminiscent of the microscopic images that we have previously taken. The previously unknown intrinsic characteristics of the kiwi can now be easily viewed.

18472504_1237184643059785_863711612_o18452403_1237184663059783_197933606_o

The main workshop with the Scouts provided a hands-on experience. Alongside using the microscope, we were able to provide a platform for the kids to reflect on what they had seen and discovered using the Fruit Leather. As a group, we wanted to try out different ways of working, by using different materials. Through these workshops, between 4D2PS and the Cubs, Beavers and Scouts, we were able to take our intention to collaborate even further, producing work with others who do not always engage with art, or even microscopes.