What does being active really mean?
How can we keep active in this mechanised world?
What would an active future look like?
CCI artist Sally Todd worked with scientist Dr Helen Brown from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research and the class of eight and nine year olds from St Philip's Primary School in Cambridge to explore these questions during the spring term of 2015. The children’s ideas and artwork were used to curate an exhibition in the hospital. They also informed a new Cambridge University Hospitals staff health and wellbeing campaign. The project has continued to have an impact at the school:
Since our last project with you, we now do the daily mile every morning before school and are well on our way to creating more active teaching styles. I’m just back from training to do active maths for example. The project was a great spark for us. We recognised that this was really important. I’ve worked there 9 years but (the project) really raised the profile of the school and made us take notice. It gave the ideas much more traction. I think we were all quite shocked by what Helen told us and then your work really springboarded us to thinking about other priorities that school should have other than academic ones. Your project really captured everyones interest. We’ve invested in more play equipment too. And really seen more keenness from pupils to take part. The banner has hung in school for everyone to notice and commit on.
The Future Reactive project began with a morning led by Helen to introduce how science can inform some of these key challenges. Sally then returned for 3 further mornings in January and February, inviting the children to develop their own ideas in response to these challenging questions.
Part of our remit at CEDAR is to translate evidence about healthy behaviour into real-world action. This exciting project offers that very opportunity. Dr Esther van Sluijs and I are delighted to be combining art and science to engage and inform the children of St Phillip’s School about ways they, and their families, can stay active.
Dr Helen Brown
Future Reactive brought together a new partnership between Addenbrooke’s Arts, The Cambridge Institute of Public Health and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination.
The posts below offer an account of some elements of the project.