Science and art collide in a workshop for school pupils in Cambridgeshire


School children group photo

Imperial College London invited school pupils to a half-day workshop to foster their creative and scientific thinking.

From crayon rubbings to speedy sketches, how can art help us to better understand the science around us? Imperial College London invited school pupils from Cambridgeshire to explore the local flora and fauna and how we can study and better protect them. 

  • An assortment of crayons
  • Paintbrushes on paper
  • A sketch of some creatures

As part of a Creative Roots workshop to drive creativity in nine-to twelve-year-olds, the participants were tasked with exploring and thinking about their surroundings near The Yarrow Gallery at Oundle School.  

They worked alongside artist Steph Von Reiswitz and Research Postgraduate at Imperial’s Department of Life Sciences Hollie Folkard-Tapp to bring art to life while exploring the research methods used in art and science. The workshops were centred around Anna Dumitriu – an award-winning artist who uses different artforms, including BioArt, to explore our relationship to infectious diseases, synthetic biology and robotics – and her exhibit in the Yarrow Gallery. 

  • Children pointing at an art instillation, made of mini beds
  • A girl at a gallery looking at art
  • An artist standing with her creation - a dress with flowers coming from where a head should be

After hoisting on their wellies to think about what lies beneath their feet as they walked the gallery grounds, the cohort heard talks about the rich history of science and art guided by exhibition displays. Finally, they worked together to design their own work of art – a poster that depicts the nature around us, real or imagined. 

Children in a circle inspecting grass

The half-day was described as “amazing” and “exciting” by the school pupils, and highlights included “looking at all the ancient things” and “learning about roots.” Teachers said the day “ignited creativity and let them [the pupils] loose with their own ideas” and they were “involved, engaged and enthused.” 

  • Children stood round a table making artwork
  • Children stood round a table making artwork
  • Children stood round a table making artwork

The day aimed to inspire the next generation of scientists and artists, showing that you neither require a studio or a lab to take part.

Image credit: Brendan Foster


Bryony Ravate

Bryony Ravate
Communications Division

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Outreach, Environment
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