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Children's cosmic imaginings brought to life

A group of school students were challenged to interpret some of the biggest questions about the Universe during a creative collaboration, partly funded by Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Researchers from Durham University visited three Middlesbrough primary schools to share their pioneering astronomy and cosmology research with 60 nine and ten year olds – and inspire some amazing works of art. 

School children like Lillie Wilson were challenged to interpret some of the biggest questions about our universe through their artwork.

Brambles Primary Academy student, Lillie Wilson, said she learned a lot through different experiments. “I did some art to represent the galaxy – an exploded paint brush. It was really good.” 

Lillie was part of a group of school children who took part in the ‘Changing Cosmic Perceptions: An exploration of our Universe’ project to make ‘cosmic’ art for Durham University.

Mel Connell, an artist based in the North East of England, developed the project over six months. “It’s been an amazing experience to revisit my love of physics. The input from the University researchers has been mind-blowing, and the children responded with such enthusiasm and originality,” Mel said.

Ogden Science Outreach Co-Ordinator at the University, Dr Lorraine Coghill, said: “We often find that children are fascinated by the big questions of space and time: why are we here, how the Universe began, and what is its ultimate fate. With the Changing Cosmic Perceptions project, we wanted to give children, a local artist and some of our physicists the opportunity to think creatively about these big questions.”

The new cosmic artwork has been unveiled at Durham University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, where the children were invited to speak about the project and what they had learned. 

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Last updated: 22 July 2019


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