In the Footsteps of Giants aimed to introduce the science behind the story of the Earth's origins via a vivid telling of that story on-site at Arthur's Seat.
Summary of activity:
Following a wine reception and an introduction to the ideas of James Hutton at Our Dynamic Earth, participants were guided up Salisbury Crags, engaged with the geology and told stories about Arthur’s Seat’s past. The event culminated in a bicycle-powered open air screening of a short film, Rock Opera developed by Hoda Productions in collaboration with artists, geologists and teachers.
A day version of this event suitable for families was also run.
In the Footsteps of Giants was part of a larger project, Rock Operator, a multi-platform educational project comprising of the Rock Opera film, and interactive GPS-based app, teacher resources and website. Rock Operator uses creativity to engage audiences with Arthur’s Seat, its geology and its environment.
What went well:
The collaboration between geologists, artists and science communication professionals produced a really unusual, exciting and truly interdisciplinary event.
Situating the film screening at the location of its subject matter helped create atmosphere and provided an apt way to summarise and wrap-up the event.
Careful planning allowed us to split the outdoor route into two levels of difficulty. This ensured that despite the outdoor nature the event was accessible for all, without impacting on the experience.
What was learned:
Unusual, interdisciplinary events can stoke interest and imagination amongst adult audiences. There was some initial caution about how the different elements of the event could sit together, but being flexible and open-minded helped create a successful event.
Local heritage and history can be a powerful tool to engage older audiences with science.
Splitting elements between the outdoors and indoors allows for a great wet-weather contingency plan. Thankfully this was not required!