Inspired by science and art project

PINBALL WIZARDS: Year 5 children at Fieldhead Academy with teacher Kevin Lusk and artist Craig Dyson.
PINBALL WIZARDS: Year 5 children at Fieldhead Academy with teacher Kevin Lusk and artist Craig Dyson.

Young people in Batley and Birstall schools have been taking part in a project designed to encourage learning in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) through visual arts activities.

Over the past three years, the Change project has developed into an annual highlight in the local school calendar.

It is run by Mosaic (a Batley-based community arts organisation) in partnership with Batley Girls’ High School.

The aim of Change is to enable young people to develop their scientific knowledge through taking part in creative activities, to learn new artistic skills, and to enjoy the connections between science and art.

A team of four artists has been working with groups in 13 local schools, running workshops in a variety of visual arts disciplines including ceramics, mixed media and sculpture which have seen young people exploring science topics such as light, forces, electricity, and properties of materials.

Year 5 children at Fieldhead Primary Academy in Birstall are one of the groups to have recently completed their workshops. Working with a sculptor to explore the Forces topic, the group has been designing a pinball machine.

Sculptor Craig Dyson said: “The challenge of designing and making a pinball machine from scratch has enabled the children to learn about forces such as gravity and friction, and to experiment with the different forces created by components such as springs and levers. Along the way they have learnt about working like scientists.”

The other schools involved in Change 2017 are: Batley Girls’ High, Batley Grammar, Birstall Primary, Carlinghow JI&N, Carlton J&I, Field Lane JI&N, Healey JI&N, Hyrstmount Junior, Lydgate J&I, Mill Lane Primary, Park Road JI&N and Upper Batley High.