Every autumn term, The Crypt School runs a cross-curricular project called ‘The Future is Wild’ where the science department focusses on how organisms might evolve over millions of years, and other departments adapt this central idea to fit in with their subject. All Year 8 pupils participate in the project and this culminates in a celebration evening where their work is exhibited for family and friends. This year’s evening took place on 3rd December and was well attended by parents, guardians and other relatives who came to see the fantastic variety of work produced, and range of skills developed.
This wonderful project demonstrates how one common theme can bring together many disciplines; all of which encourage development of skills and creativity. Here is an overview of how the project has worked in the different curriculum areas this term:
The boys have been working on their projects for 8 weeks and used a 3-dimensional element to the occasion by designing their own fantasy animal which they then built using slot-together card. This was used to help them draw the components onto a CAD program enabling them to laser cut a 3D puzzle suitable for 5-8-year olds in MDF. After, they made a box from pine and card to complete their product.
Students began their journey by looking at The Future is Wild creatures which had particularly interesting shapes, 3D forms, patterns and textures (such as the Ocean Flish, Forest Flish, Cryptile and Carrakiller). They made detailed line studies of two creatures, focusing on their observational and compositional skills. Inspiration was taken from the Canadian paper relief artist, Calvin Nicholls, who produces very intricate studies, predominately of animals. The boys converted one of their drawings into a 4-tier design and added textures to the skeletal structure of their creature as Nicholls would, considering how they could create 3D form and texture from flat sheets of paper. The work was intricate and challenging, requiring them to be successful engineers but also display creativity – a perfect combination of art and science!
Pupils were given the brief to create, in groups or individually, a 1½ -minute piece of music as a soundtrack for the Slickribbon sequence from the ‘Future is Wild’ DVD using Capella software. Those compositions created were played to parents visiting the celebration evening.
Using ‘The Future is Wild’ theme, students thought about what life may be like in the near future, discussing how the Science Fiction genre often focuses on this theme. They created storyboards to show a character or characters who experiment with time travel and are transported to the future - with some very varied consequences, both good and bad!
Students discovered the new landscape systems created as continents re-converge to form Pangea 2. They worked in groups to present the information they collected on ecosystems, weather and ocean systems.
Pupils focused on the use of artefacts to study a lost or unknown society. They were asked to imagine that humans had been extinct for millions of years and no fossil records could be found to account for their existence; a new intelligent life form had developed and discovered artefacts left behind by humans. Considering this scenario, students investigated these artefacts to ascertain what the previous intelligent life form had been like (e.g. levels of technology, communication, culture).
by Susan Glock, Head of Biology & KS3 Science