In January 2009 pupils from schools in Westminster and Barnet came to the Hall to see the Cirque du Soleil® show, Quidam. For the following four months they and their teachers worked with engineers from Rolls-Royce and had the opportunity to experiment with microcontrollers to produce a 3D working model inspired by the show. The end of the project saw representatives from all of the schools giving a presentation at the Royal Albert Hall. In these presentations the students explained the methodologies behind their models and saw how their models have differed from the engineers at Rolls-Royce.
This project has been developed to give pupils the opportunity to work with specific engineering tools and resources and to help the schools involved to meet aspects of the 2003 Government Report: Every Child Matters. This project hopes to give the pupils an exciting introduction to engineering and its application through this practical look at a production.
This project would not have been possible without the involvement of Cirque du Soleil® and their production of Quidam. The show provided the creative spark that inspired the children to learn about the possibilities that a career in engineering might offer in the field of performing arts.
This project was made possible by the generous support of The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Rolls-Royce PLC and the City of Westminster Children's Services.
Schools in City of Westminster
College Park Special School
St Mary Magdalene CE Primary School
St Lukes CE Primary
Edward Wilson Primary School
All Souls CE Primary School
St George's RC Secondary School
St Saviour's CE Primary School
St Gabriel's CE Primary School
Our Lady of Dolours RC Primary School
St Peter's Eaton Square Primary School
Quintin Kynaston Technology School
Schools in London Borough of Barnet
St Paul's CE Primary School
St John's CE Primary School
Friern Barnet School
Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, operates in four global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. Over 38,000 people work for Rolls-Royce around the world and over 8,000 of these are scientists and engineers.
City of Westminster
The Schools and Learning Directorate in Westminster is responsible for the learning and achievement of young people in Westminster Schools. They are tasked with responding to the Government Every Child Matters agenda, particularly ensuring that every child ‘enjoys and achieves’. In Westminster there are over 50 schools which reflect the full spectrum of diversity, challenge and opportunity. Many pupils from neighbouring boroughs are educated in these schools alongside Westminster residents. Over 30% of residents belong to Black or Minority Ethnic communities and over 100 first languages are spoken. Westminster has high numbers of Chinese and Bangladeshi residents and African-Caribbean residents constitute the largest minority group.
City of Westminster Website
Paul Fereday has been teaching Design & Technology for 15 years. He is Head of the Design and Technology Faculty at Friern Barnet School. They specialise in Product Design and over the last two years 84% of their pupils have obtained an A* to C at GCSE. One of the factors contributing to this success has been the introduction of the PICAXE microcontroller to their pupils' work. Paul has included this exciting technology as a possible tool to be used in the design and development of pupils' Sideshow! projects.
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil® is a world-famous international travelling circus based in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Its shows are characterised by imaginative use of costume, music and lighting and breath-taking displays of human skill with world-class jugglers, acrobats, trapeze artists, contortionists, balancing acts and clowning. It does not use animals and has developed its own language (Cirquish) so that it can be equally understood in each country it visits. Cirque du Soleil usually performs in a ‘big-top’ style tent but occasionally works in existing entertainment venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
This project would not have been possible without the involvement of Cirque du Soleil and their production of Quidam. The show provided the creative spark that inspired the children to learn about the possibilities that a career in engineering might offer in the field of performing arts.
Cirque Du Soleil Website
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 awards grants and fellowships in support of science and industry to the value of £2m a year. First established in 1850 to stage the Great Exhibition, the Commission initially invested the Exhibition's profit by purchasing the land for development of the South Kensington cultural estate of museums, colleges and the Royal Albert Hall.
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Website