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Monday, 27 April 2009

Characters in the Search of Science opening

Our latest opening for the current exhibition Characters in the Search of Science

Friday, 10 April 2009

The SAW trust looks like an exciting project combining artists with science into schools.

"About SAW

In September 2004 scientist Anne Osbourn was awarded a ‘Dreamtime Fellowship’ by the National Endowment the Science, Technology and the Arts. The fellowship’s aim was to explore ways that science can more fully connect with the lives and languages of ordinary people.

Anne used her enthusiasm for inspiring schoolchildren about science to develop ‘science, art and writing’ (SAW) projects in local schools. These brought together children, teachers, scientists, writers, artists and the local community, with science as the central theme.

The response was overwhelming, and the schools projects have been in demand across the UK and abroad. With support from the Society in Science Foundation Anne has subsequently set up the SAW Trust – a registered charity that encourages engagement between science and the arts."

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Brown to launch drive for science

I found this article on line by Andrew Woodcock of the press association that I thought was pertinent to our exhibition opening on the 23rd of April "Characters in Science". It was concerning Gordon Brown announcement regarding science and maths in British state schools.

Brown to launch drive for science

By Andrew Woodcock, Press Association

Friday, 27 February 2009

Gordon Brown will today announce ambitious targets to increase the numbers of pupils studying sciences and maths in state schools, as part of a drive to ensure Britain produces "the great scientists of tomorrow".

The Prime Minister will argue that investment in science is key to Britain's future competitiveness and will signal his ambition to shift the UK economy away from its over-dependence on financial services and towards science and technology.

In a speech in Oxford, the PM will promise not to let science become "a victim of the recession", vowing to protect funding for science from competing demands for Government support during the downturn.

And he will announce initiatives to encourage graduates with science, maths and IT degrees who lose their jobs during the recession to retrain as teachers, as part of a drive to ensure almost all state schools offer physics, chemistry and biology as separate subjects within five years.

Mr Brown will say: "The time has come to build a society that seeks high-value engineering not financial engineering. A country whose young people are more inspired by those who give to the world, than by those who take from it.

"And a nation that values Britain's great history of scientific achievement and that backs Britain's capacity for scientific discovery.

"We have a scientific record to be proud of. The question now is how we build on this strength to make Britain the best country in the world in which to be a scientist in the months and years to come."

Mr Brown will set out a "national ambition" for Britain to educate the next generation of world-class scientists.

He will offer a guarantee that within five years, 90% of all state schools will offer the "triple science" option of single-subject teaching of physics, chemistry and biology. At present, only 32% of state schools offer triple science - up from 22% in 2005.

The aim is to at least double the number of state school pupils taking the three science subjects from its current level of 8.5% over the next five years, involving 100,000 children a year.

And Mr Brown will set a new target to increase the numbers of young people sitting A-level maths from 56,000 now to 80,000 by 2014.

He will recognise that mainstream comprehensive schools have suffered from a lack of specialist science teachers able to take single-subject classes and stretch the brightest pupils.

To address this shortage, graduates made redundant in companies working in science, technology, engineering, maths and IT will be offered personalised support from education consultants to consider the option of retraining as teachers.

Mr Brown will promise to maintain the "science ring fence" which guarantees that state money earmarked for science is protected from competing demands.

"Some say that now is not the time to invest, but the bottom line is that the downturn is no time to slow down our investment in science," the PM will say.

"We will not allow science to become a victim of the recession - but rather focus on developing it as a key element of our path to recovery.

"That is why we will maintain the ring fence we have placed around science funding."

Mr Brown will also promise to "promote a positive public debate about the proper role of science in the service of humanity" in order to improve public understanding and awareness of science.

Characters in Search of Science


Our next exhibition at the incubator will be some artwork produced during an investigative project undertaken by Desdemona McCannon(our current exhibitor until 22nd of April) with primary school children from North Wales in 2007.

Des' work as a designer and illustrator is all about communicating ideas , and trying to use visual language that is easy for all to understand.

Her artistic background is both wide and varied. She has written and illustrated several children’s books, worked on editorial commissions , and produced many book jackets and packaging solutions for clients. In her employment at Glyndwr University (since 2003) she has focused on academic and theoretical aspects of design thinking, and has gained many skills in presenting and teaching to groups of people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse ages and skills.

As a lecturer in Illustration at North Wales School of Art, she instigated an action research project called ‘Characters in Search of Science’ in 2007. This explored the use of drawing in facilitating conceptual thinking in 6-7 year old children at Rhosddu school in Wrexham. Her project was well received by policy makers, educators and academics when she presented a paper based on the findings at an international conference on ‘Visual Literacy’ at Mansfield College, Oxford (summer 2007).

She has designed and illustrated several pictographic representations of conceptual narratives to demonstrate this hypothesis. One was based on the ideas in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, in another she collaborated with a biochemist on an explanation of the Periodic table, called ‘The Atom Family’.

She is interested in facilitating ‘visual thinking’ and the empowerment that comes from realising intelligence is not always expressed verbally, that ideas are not always located in words.

We are delighted to have a second opportunity to show work from this talented artist.