In conjunction with The Manchester Museum and The Manchester Day Parade, Stanley Grove Primary Academy held a brilliant Eureka Festival for families of Longsight on Saturday 4th June. It was attended by over 1,000 people with an amazing 40 activities on offer including 1 T-Rex and supported by 94 volunteers!
Three years ago Stanley Grove Primary Academy discovered that very few of their pupils took part in activities many people took for granted; such as visiting a beach, museum or even the local park. They called this ‘Poverty of Experience’. And so they set about tackling this with the philosophy, that the more they could enrich the community as well as individual pupils’ experiences, the higher their aspirations and life chances would be.
One of their projects attempting to overcome this issue had been linking in with The Manchester Museum. They had worked together over the year to create many opportunities for the museum to come to them, as well as ensuring that every child in the school had visited the museum at least once.
The free family festival was put on in celebration of Manchester being the European City of Science and their first year of working together to build a bridge between their community and the wonders on offer at the Manchester Museum.
The day began at 12 noon with a parade around the streets of Longsight with giant puppets and a cacophony of colourful masks and music. The theme for the parade was pretending the children had ‘liberated’ the contents of the Manchester Museum (they were so in awe of what they saw they wanted everyone in Longsight to share in it!). They paraded with a tyrannosaurus rex, a 10 metre long tree python and a gigantic giant spider crab. This was a test run for the puppets before performing at the Manchester Day Parade on June 19th.
Visitors to the festival were able to explore, experiment and play with activities all themed around discovery, science and creativity and designed to capture the imagination and lead to further participation.
Attractions included: Manchester Museum with their incredible ‘Inflatable Museum’ and opportunities for guests to handle 3000 year old artefacts. Author Shoo Rayner who performed his new book (written especially for the festival) to a captivated audience. Scientists from the University of Manchester doing ‘Science Busking’ with interactive experiments. Strange Train Theatre Company who brought playful, curious characters. The Whitworth artist Oliver East who helped people get creative in their pop-up gallery. And last but not least, guests could make stop-go animations, catapults, puppets and even start a fire and toast a marshmallow!