SAW in the classroom - 2010

Great Ellingham Primary School – July 2010

Scientist Andy Osborne, who studies diseases of the eye, worked with writer Keith Rose and artist Lara a'Court to design and deliver a SAW project to Ben Cole's class of 10 and 11 year olds at Great Ellingham Primary School. The theme of the science session was sight and the workings of the eye. The children worked through a series of activities exploring concepts such as the eye's blind spot, the importance of sight as one of the senses, and the science behind optical illusions. During the writing session the children played with language conjured up by visual cues, particularly when describing colours. The art session used simple crayon rubbing pictures to explore textures and structures around the school.

The SAW team commented:

"We all agreed it was a good day yesterday, and the three of us enjoyed the activities and had great fun. The children were brilliantly behaved, very co-operative and friendly. We would love to do more workshops with SAW!"

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Falcon Junior School – July 2010

Scientist Alba Gonzalez-Posada, a marine biologist, worked with writer Meirion Jordan and artist Laura Metcalf to design and deliver a SAW project to class 4 at Falcon Junior School with teacher Susanne Johns. The theme of the science session was carbon dioxide in the ocean and the link between increasing carbon dioxide levels and global warming. The 7 and 8 year olds explored the greenhouse effect and created baking soda volcanoes! Meirion read some poems to the class that hinted at aspects of the environment without being obvious, then the children used scientific images as an inspiration for their own poems. During the art session the children built submarines out of old plastic bottles and made an algae collage as a backdrop for the submarine models.

"We all enjoyed it very much! It was fun to work with the children, they were such hard workers and they did very well. My thanks to everyone for such a positive experience!" Alba

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Morley CE VA Primary School – June 2010

Scientist Rob Posey, a specialist in Forensic chemistry, worked with writer Elspeth Latimer and artist Becki Griffiths to design and deliver a SAW project with teacher Nick King to his class of 9 and 10 year olds at Morley CE VA Primary School. The science session was a crime scene in which some drinks had been poisoned with a white powder and the children's task was to identify the correct poison using forensic investigation. The children dusted cups for fingerprints and examined the uniqueness of fingerprints and then used a series of tests to identify the poison. The scientific images were explored and used as an inspiration to write poetry and the theme of printing was used in the art session to create giant unique art work. All three sessions produced interesting work, great questions, and fantastic responses from the children.

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Notre Dame High School, Norwich – May 2010

This SAW project with 14 year olds focussed on how plant secondary metabolites are used by humans for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Teacher Ross Morley worked with scientist Jenni Rant, writer Mike O'Driscoll and artist Chris Hann. Many plant based remedies passed down through generations form the basis of common pharmaceutical products we use today. The starting point is often working out what actual ingredient in the plant is responsible for the desired effect on the symptom you are treating. The children extracted oil from cloves to test its antibacterial properties and therefore its effectiveness for treating toothache. Bacteria was then grown on agar with paper discs soaked in either the clove oil extract, a commercial clove extract (sold for the treatment of toothache), eugenol (the identified anti-bacterial compound from cloves) and a control disc. The next day the children observed how the growth of bacteria was inhibited surrounding the discs containing clove oil because of the presence of the active ingredient, eugenol. This provided a visible demonstration of the powerful defence offered by compounds in plants and also introduced many chemistry and biology techniques to the class. The children chose one of the images introduced during the science session to create some fantastic poetry. The concentric circles shown in the image of aspirin crystals was the inspiration for artwork.

See photos, poetry and artwork from this project


SAW - Science, Art and Writing ™