science and dance

Curious, confident and creative!

We are so excited to be back working with Sennybridge Primary School on a new project enabling learners to explore the questions they have about the world around them through dance, drama and poetry. Each week every class spends time with our three artists actively thinking about the questions they created the week before.

The aim of the project is for learners to be more curious, to be confident in their own knowledge and for them to have the skills and tools they need to find answers to the questions they have. We believe that we are all (children, artists & teachers) learners, artists and scientists therefore we aim for the adults involved to have time to explore their own creativity, share practice and be inspired by the children’s curiosity and explorations.

Why do leaves fall_.png

So how does this actually work? In week one the question was ‘Why do leaves fall?’ This led to discussions about the seasons, life cycles and habitats. To give an insight into the project, here’s an example of a warm up activity that the artists facilitated. All the children stand in a circle and there’s a small box with lots of photos of leaves, trees and blossom. A learner puts in their hand and chooses one at random. They respond to the photo with a movement and everyone copies. Several do this and then all the movements are linked together. Another example, is in small groups children are given a season each, they produce a mind map of everything they can think of related to that season. They bring those words and phrases together into sentences and produce their first instant poems.

During the feedback of each exercise, the artists are able to bring together the learning and further this by asking more questions. Children answer with both facts and imaginings. All are validated however we do introduce the vocabulary of facts, beliefs and opinions which is an important part of the KS2 science curriculum.

We’ll sign off with some of the interesting questions the children have suggested for next week’s explorations!

We are looking to appoint an artist to support the children to create an installation that will communicate the questions collected over the course of the project. The work will be displayed at Theatr Brycheiniog on 5th & 6th April then travel to Imperial College London for display at the end of June.

This project has been made possible with funding from Arts Council Wales!


Professors on Tour - The Lowdown

Across two and a half years, Flying Atoms has reached over 4,000 people in schools, venues and at festivals in England, Scotland & Wales. We’re really proud of these big numbers but we’re really interested in what each individual took away from their experience of the show.


In 2016, Amanda Griffkin (Director of Powys Dance) had an idea to bring together dance and science to inspire children to enjoy both. Flying Atoms combined aerial dance, theatre, original music and an impressive set to open up the world of physics to children aged 7 - 11 and their families. One audience member in Cardiff this year told us,

"I brought my granddaughter in the hope that she would get interested in science and now she wants to fly!"

When the show visited Newtown in Autumn 2018 as part of a Wales wide tour, our producer Lauren Hussein visited a local school before and after the show to try to better understand the impact of the show on the little professors. She used the draw-a-scientist test, to see what gender the children saw scientists to be. Encouragingly (compared to other similar research) before seeing the show 33% of children drew female scientists. However we were really pleased to see that after seeing Flying Atoms nearly 50% of the scientists drawn were female.

We also measured increased confidence in being able to answer the key questions in the show such as…….

These 4 central questions in Flying Atoms when asked before the show, 65% of our focus group (7 - 11 year olds) said they felt confident they knew the answers. After the show this rose to 92%.

Along the way we managed to speak to audience members both young and old about the show and what they thought, here are some of our highlights…..

So it’s time to look at the numbers and the stats speak for themselves and who doesn’t love a infographic!

Our flying professors have truly taken flight across the country to inspire and delight audiences, if you managed to catch them we’d love to hear about your experience!

……and remember, never stop questioning!

Production Assistant opportunity with Powys Dance!

Since 2016, Flying Atoms (aerial dance and science production) has toured to 24 schools, venues and festivals to an audience of 3,000 children and their families. This Autumn, the professors are heading back out on tour to six venues in Wales.

Flying Atoms performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017

Flying Atoms performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017

We are looking for a new member of the team to act as production assistant on the road. It’s an exciting and varied role so we’ll be recruiting someone with the right skills who could need additional training to take up the opportunity.

For a text version of the Job specification visit the Arts Council of Wales website here

Closing date: 11th June 2018

Contact: Production Manager Lauren Hussein at // 07791 368 357