A young children's theatre show about problem-solving is touring some of our local schools.
Curious Investigators is aimed at three to seven-year-olds and has been partly developed by Lancaster University's School of Engineering.
The show will be visiting Ryelands Primary, Skerton St Luke's, Castle View and Moorside in Lancaster, Morecambe Bay Primary, and Trumacar Primary in Heysham.
The interactive performances are highly visual, theatrical storytelling, engaging children with problems, encouraging curiosity and inventive use of children’s STEM knowledge, via two female characters, Scribble and Clipboard, who are sorting through the recycling when they discover a very unusual egg.
The show has been hailed as “ridiculously superb” and “very funny” by audience members.
Curious Investigators will also appear at The Dukes in Lancaster in March, with performances on March 25 at 11am (limited tickets remaining) and 2pm (sold out).
Dr Irene Wise from The School of Engineering is a schools liaison officer who worked with award-winning theatre company One Tenth Human to develop the production.
She said: “Part of the purpose of the shows is to raise awareness of what engineering is, that it's everywhere and in everything. Engineering is not part of the national curriculum and very few primary school teachers have a STEM background. By reaching out to a younger audience, there's the change to challenge stereotypes and inspire curiosity-led interest in the engineered world around them.
“Feedback through children's drawings and responses to questions reveal that this type of storytelling, combined with interaction and freedom to solve a problem through creative thinking and imagination raised their awareness of what engineering is and the skills required to be an engineer.”
A follow-up schools’ workshop facilitated by Dr Wise, with support from engineering students and researchers, involves the children designing, building and testing a way to move a lost egg safely through a journey to return to its nest.
Engineering students also have the opportunity to talk to the children about why they chose engineering, and to show them something they're working on such as a 3D printed wind turbine or a computer controlled circuit
The show was commissioned by Big Imaginations and supported by the Backstage Trust. Schools workshops in Morecambe Bay are supported by Lancaster and Morecambe College plus an Engineering Education Grant from the IET and IMechE.