Happi-Genetics - Science on Stage
“Happi-genetics” is a new science communication/public engagement project that involves the organization of Art-Science workshops for adults and children with the common theme of Genetics, cells and chromosomes. The team behind this project is composed of two scientists (Alexander Kaganski and Mar Carmena) actively working in chromosome research and epigenetics at the University of Edinburgh, and a visual artist (Shaeron Averbuch). We have come together with the aim to enhance public awareness in modern scientific research in Genetics. We would like to do this through a new type of interactive workshop that would use the languages of physical theatre and visual art to bring the subject of our research closer to the public.
The workshop is focused on the subject of cell division and chromosome segregation. We aim to inspire young members of the public to explore the molecular mechanisms that underlie life and express their vision using dance and visual art.
Our workshop has three parts:
1) One of the scientists (MC) will introduce the subject of cell division and chromosome segregation, projecting colour pictures and movies of dividing cells.
2) The children will be guided by a scientist with training in dance improvisation (AK) through a “molecular dance” workshop. Children will be asked to play the part of the chromosomes dancing within a space resembling the cell. Two adults will play the part of the microtubule organizing centres using ropes as microtubules (red in the pictures) to “capture” the chromosomes.
Children will dance in pairs representing the duplicated chromosomes and try to grab ropes coming from opposite ends of the cell. When they all have done this the adults will slowly pull the ropes and bring one of each pair of children to opposite sides of the cell.
3) The dance will be followed by arts and crafts session guided by an artist with extensive experience (SA); the aim of this session will be to improve the understanding of cells and chromosomes by making artistic models using recycled materials (packaging granules, recycled milk bottles, etc.).
"Happi-Genetics" is a project made possible by an ASCUS Science-Art collaboration Grant.
If you are interested on HAPPI-GENETICS to your school, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page.