Comic competition to raise youngsters' aspirations
9 November 2011
A new competition is aiming to help change perceptions about the career ambitions of young women – by inviting schoolchildren to create a comic inspired by famous female scientists.
The ‘She Inspired’ Comics Competition has been organised by artists Charlie Shepard, Taryn Whittam and Heather Wilson, illustration students at Glyndŵr University, with support from the Arts Council of Wales and Techniquest Glyndŵr.
Inspired by the artists’ own educational comic called ‘Clockwork Express,’ the competition will see children research famous female scientists and mathematicians, before creating their own comic page inspired by them.
The winning entries will be displayed alongside the work of the artists in a public exhibition at Techniquest Glyndŵr, opening on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2012. Their entries will be compiled into a special edition of Clockwork Express, copies of which schools will get to keep.
Clockwork Express follows the fantastical adventures of Professor Lilian Primrose and her trusty sidekick Tweet as they journey through time meeting notable women from history, getting in and out of trouble and learning along the way.
Charlie said the competition hopes to change pupils’ attitudes regarding the type of job which will be available to them when they leave school.
She added: “We want to give the pupils a project which is fun and interesting to work on. It’s a very creative competition but it encourages the pupils to think about science and lots of other subjects as well.
"Hopefully both boys and girls will be inspired, and become interested in the female figures that have influenced the world we live in today.”
Mike Corcoran, programme developer at Techniquest Glyndŵr, who is assisting with the project, said: “The competition is very cross-curricular.
"You can teach science in art lessons, history in science lessons or art in maths lessons: it has tremendous educational value.”
Local primary school teacher Linda Sawyer sees great potential benefit in getting involved.
She said: “I know I could definitely use this type of project within my classroom. It brings together a wide variety of learning and skills. It also gives pupils an insight into good role models from the past and hopefully inspires them to look to science in the future.”
The competition is open to any children between the ages of 8 and 12. They can work alone, in small groups or as an entire class to create their entries.
Every school taking part will be welcome to receive a free class or assembly presentation led by the Clockwork Express artists in their school during January 2012 (or at Techniquest Glyndŵr during a trip to view the exhibition).
Schools will also receive free copies of Clockwork Express for their own libraries, to help inspire pupils’ comic pages.
It is free to take part in the competition, and all schools entering will be invited to visit Techniquest Glyndŵr for free while the exhibition is running.
For more details email SheInspired@tqg.org.uk or call 01978 293400.