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Preston project using dance to engage pupils with the wonder of space

Posted on - 29th September, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey who is performing the moves for the Space in Schools project - Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards
Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey Pic: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards

Astronomy and dance are being combined in a new project to help engage primary school pupils with the wonders of space.

The Into Our Skies: Space in Schools project from UCLan will challenge traditional science-learning and use dance to engage young people with the curiosity and excitement of scientific ideas.

The project has been given £15,000 from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Public Engagement Fund and the national funding has helped create a partnership between UCLan Astronomer Dr Joanne Pledger, UCLanDance and Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey.

Together they are creating interactive educational videos, which are currently being filmed at the University’s Alston Observatory, and resources that will be available to schools for free by mid-October.

Dr Pledger said: “The six-week programme includes three videos and additional learning materials which are aimed at Year 5 and 6 pupils.

“They are closely aligned with national curriculum guidelines meaning teachers can provide practical opportunities for pupils engage in topics such as The Moon, Earth and the Sun and The Solar System whether in their classroom or as a homework topic.‚ÄĚ

Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey who is performing the moves for the Space in Schools project - Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards
Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey who is performing the moves for the Space in Schools project `pic: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards

The additional resources include top tips on how to facilitate a dance class and supplementary information on ‚Äėthe science bit‚Äô, designed to help parents and teachers alike deliver high quality content, irrelevant of their background or level of science and dance knowledge.

Dr Pledger added: ‚ÄúWe know teachers have had a difficult year and they‚Äôre trying to play catch-up on the months of teaching that were lost during lockdown so this free programme of informative, yet fun and engaging activities, can take the stress out of lesson planning and can combine the subjects of movement and science.‚ÄĚ

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The project is inspired by the solo show ‚ÄėInto Our Skies‚Äô¬†created by Lucy and supported by UCLanDance.

The Space in Schools videos and resources will be made freely available to schools and parents. Interested teachers and parents can register their interest here.

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Do you think your children would enjoy this new project? Let us know in the comments below

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