Unweaving the Rainbow Roadshow II

Dr Andrew Parnell introduces a young visitor to one of our Star Species. Photo by Paula Denton.

On 16th February 2019 Unweaving the Rainbow teamed up with Our Big Picture to present our second roadshow at Grimsby Top Town Market.

Over 200 people of all ages participated in a series of drop in activities based on the science and art of colour. These included the opportunity to get up close to some of our Star Species (including the spectacular Morpho butterfly, see above), demonstrations of the magical ‘disappearing colour’ on a jay’s wing, hands-on making activities including origami butterflies for our mobile, and getting-creative-whilst-asking-questions with our ever-popular Structural Colouring Books and Questions about Colour posters.

Examining Heliconius butterfly wings through an optical microscope. Photo by Paula Denton.

It was a delight to meet such a lively, curious and thoughtful audience – many of whom expressed an interest in following up their encounters with further study!

Giving out free copies of our Rose of Temperaments poetry pamphlet – a hit with all ages! Photo by Paula Denton.

Many thanks to Paula and Wendy from Our Big Picture who promoted and set up the event locally – and worked hard throughout the day to engage people with care and enthusiasm. Thanks also to BBC Radio Humberside for featuring us on the morning show. Special thanks to Dr Andrew Parnell and Rachel Kilbride from The University of Sheffield for sharing their incredible expertise and love of science.

Photo by Paula Denton.



Unweaving The Rainbow Roadshow

Prof Richard Jones, Dr Andrew Parnell, Artist Paul Evans and Rachel Kilbride at Laceby Acres Primary School, Grimsby

Last week our Unweaving the Rainbow Road Show went on tour to three Primary Schools in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire. We visited Laceby Acres Primary School, Elliston Primary Academy and Edward Heneage Primary Academy – and received an amazing reception from a total of over 180 young people from years 5 and 6!

The road show format was based on the successful session plan that we developed with Rawmarsh Community School for our ‘Discovery Day’ at The Diamond – condensed and reformulated for KS2 students. During the session we took the young people on a journey into the nature of colour, exploring both scientific and artistic viewpoints on this vibrant topic. These intensive two-hour workshops were led by Prof Richard Jones, Dr Andrew Parnell, Rachel Kilbride and Tom Sexton from the University of Sheffield Department of Physics and Unweaving the Rainbow lead artist Paul Evans.

After asking the young people two key questions – what is a rainbow? what is colour? – we began our workshops with a collective drawing exercise during which we imagined what Isaac Newton might look like if we hadn’t seen him! This aspect of the session has always proved to be very entertaining and serves as an excellent icebreaker.

Imagining an Isaac Newton!

This was followed by a lively Q&A session based around our ‘Questions About Colour’ PowerPoint presentation. We were extremely impressed by the confident questioning from our young audience in all three schools – and by the scientific knowledge that they possessed. The talk was punctuated by an energetic, physical demonstration of wavelengths using rainbow coloured slinkys …

The young people then divided into groups to continue their exploration with a series of hands-on activities and demonstrations with the scientists and the artist; examining specimens of structures that produce colour through a microscope and exploring their personal, subjective responses to colour through our ‘Questions About Colour’ colouring chart.

Unweaving The Rainbow would like to thanks the staff at Laceby Acres Primary School, Elliston Primary Academy and Edward Heneage Primary Academy for the warm welcome that they received and for their outstanding classroom support throughout these three days.

Special thanks to Paula Denton from Our Big Picture for co-ordinating the workshops in North East Lincolnshire.

Paul Evans reviews the session at Elliston Primary School.