Project: Build Your Own Unknown
Client: Marine Institute
TULCA Project Producer: Denise Mc Donagh

Build Your Own Unknown is a unique collaborative project whereby students, teacher, artist and scientist, learn and work together in the classroom as co-creators and collaborators. At the core of the project is engaging with and understanding the essential principles and fundamental concepts of ocean science literacy in a meaningful way, through the Arts. Beyond a wide range of materials, practices, histories and techniques, concepts and theoretical frameworks, artists – like scientists – are trained to use a unique set of skills, processes and methodologies. Learning through the Arts, is the essential ‘other’ of STEM education, in developing a unique set of holistic skills, transferable across multiple sectors in preparation for adult life. Young students will have the opportunity to connect STEM skills through core processes of interpretation, communication, analysis and synthesis, resulting in a broader awareness of complex ocean issues and its relevance in our everyday. TULCA and the Marine Institute are uniquely positioned to provide collaborations between some of Ireland’s leading artists and marine scientists, creating a platform of connection and interdisciplinary reach in an educational environment. For this pilot project, TULCA were delighted to partner with artist Louise Manifold and scientist Dr. Andy Wheeler with Cregmore National School, Co. Galway. The project began in February 2017 with 10 in school working sessions culminating in a public exhibition at SeaFest 2017. This will now tour across national network of marine education centres to include key locations Galway City Museum, Atlantic Aquarium, Cork UCC, Lifetime Lab Cork, Blackrock Education Centre, Bray Aquarium and Newport Marine Institute. The film and set together with the lesson plans will stimulate interest in art as an integrated learning tool in the classroom and becomes a key resource for teachers and educators. An artist talk aimed at the primary education sector will complement the exhibition.

Outcome: Project based learning with ICT

PDST recorded how ICT was being embedded in the collaborative ‘Build Your Own Unknown’ project. Ideally, they documented the project from the initial stages to the filming of the pupils’ mini-films and exploring ICT related activities that the children had undertaken. As part of this project documentation, the PDST recorded them as they were constructing their sets and shooting their mini-films. They also recorded the input of project partners regarding the collaborative and integrated nature of the project, exploring how the childrens’ artistic, geographical and ICT-related skills and knowledge have been enhanced throughout.
This video is featured in the ‘Best Practice’ videos section on PDST website as an example of best practice in this area, highlighting how ICT can used in a creative and cross-curricular manner in the classroom to enhance pupil learning and engagement.