When Professor Zoltan Molnar became the latest custodian of a box of teaching slides from the Oxford Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, he and Dr Damion Young began a major public engagement project funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project made the slides of Sherrington (and other prominent scientists) accessible to everyone through an online resource called ‘CSlide’.
As part of this project Lizzie Burns was asked to develop online teaching resources, based on the work of Sherrington, that would be of interest to primary and secondary schools and relevant to the National Curriculum.
Lizzie was keen to find an uplifting angle on Sherrington and came across a book he wrote in his later life titled ‘Man on his Nature’. In it he poetically and imaginatively describes the richness and beauty of life from the microscopic level to wondering about consciousness, the interdependence of life and our unique altruism.
Lizzie formed the idea of developing workshops and resources to spark the imagination of all participants with Sherrington’s spirit of poetry and enquiry. So she designed and ran a series of workshops linked to the curriculum on the body and brain to encourage pupils to think creatively through asking questions and creating artistic work from poetry to paintings. She also worked with trainee teachers, neuroscientists and ran events in the History of Science Museum. The result is a lasting online record of the project together with a resource of images, artwork, Sherrington’s writing and teaching slides and notes on the History of Medical Sciences website. These teaching materials have also been deposited in the TES Connect repository.
Feedback from students of all ages includes:
"How come when the brain is littler it seems like it has more imagination?" (8-year-old girl)
"It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to unite the two loves of my life science and art, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do so." (International visiting student)
More information on the OxTALENT website.