Small Stories and the Festival of Physics

Small Stories has been the longest project for me in 2017. Working for the Institute of Physics to create and deliver stories and workshops for under 5’s and their grownups around science concepts.

Creating work for this age group is brilliant and the project has allowed me to trial ideas – toddlers simply walk off if they are bored, you get some pretty direct feedback. Working with multiple groups from young parents, dad-focused groups and parent-run organisations and art groups across Edinburgh, Easterhouse and Fife I have learned a lot and developed my ideas.

As the project trial I wrote four stories and accompanying workshops:

The Falling Down Question – Bella wants to know why acorns fall and sycamore seeds whirl through the air. Inspired by a squirrel and with the help of her friends (that’s you!) she explores gravity and tests paper helicopters.

Ali Noise Maker – Ali’s house is a noisy house, there are lots of sounds around. But Ali doesn’t like loud noises, besides, he doesn’t even know what sound is or how it reaches our ears. An exploration of sounds and vibrations.

Three Little Ducks and the Great Bath Experiment – The Three Little Ducks have a very sensible bath routine and one Great Splashy Visitor who plays with them. Until one day the toys that float meet toys who sink…can this exploration of buoyancy end well?

The Day the Sun didn’t come to breakfast – Callum is a colour-catcher and spends his days finding new colours for his collection. But when the sun doesn’t come up one morning he realises how important light is in colour, will the sun ever come back?

Over the past few months I have enjoyed exploring these stories many groups who have invited me in to their weekly lives. I am very excited to announce that Small Stories will be available to the public as well on the 4th and 5th of November as part of the first ever Festival of Physics taking place in Edinburgh.

This weekend only I am handing over to the delightful Beth Godfrey who will be telling these stories and experimenting with 2-5 year olds. There is something quite exciting about handing over a project to another artist, even for a little while. Small Stories has potential to reach a huge audience and inviting another storyteller to help deliver the sessions is a brilliant sign of growth.