This activity blends scientific vocabulary, collaboration, creativity and artistic skills. Some students will take part in a performance of the Ada story “Robotic Telescopes: How to find cool stuff in space”. The activity then invites all students to create their own ending for the story in the form of a comic strip or drawing.
Primary school activity (Key Stage 2) - 30 minutes
We want to see if the students’ perceptions of science and scientists have changed.
Before the activity ask the students how much they identify with these statements:
- I am excited to learn about science;
- Science is boring;
- I would like to be a scientist;
- I believe that I could be a scientist
After the activity ask them how much they identify with similar statements to the start:
- “This comic book made me like science more”,
- “This comic book makes science look boring”,
- “I am not interested in being a scientist like Ada”,
- “I would like to be a scientist Ada”,
- “I do not think I could be a scientist,
- “I think I could be a scientist”
We want to see if the students are using scientific vocabulary or science methodology. Ask each group about the science content of their ending or allow the students to ask each other questions about their endings
Part I - Introduction
Duration: 5 mins
- Start by introducing the students to Ada with the “Introducing Ada” presentation
- Ask the students if they know any types of scientist
- Ask them what a scientist does
- The purpose of these steps is to:
- Make students aware that science is diverse, not just chemistry and biology
- Get students to think that the essential aspects of science are asking questions, looking for answers and working together
Part II - Comic Book reading
Duration: 5-10 mins
This part involves participation from the students. 5 volunteers will read for different characters in front of the class.
- Ask for 5 volunteers to be the characters listed on the “Introducing Ada” presentation. Warn the students that it will involve reading in front of the rest of the class.Some characters are boys, some are girls, some are genderless. Encourage the students to play any role they want, regardless of the gender (or lack of gender).
- Start reading through the comic book from the “Introducing Ada” presentation. If you do not have a projector, the students can read from the comics directly (between pages 11 - 15).
- The action stops before the end of the story (on the slide which says “What happens next …?”). If you are using comic books instead of the - presentation, stop at the end of page 15.
Part III - What Happened Next
Duration: 10-15 mins
In this final part of the activity the students will create their own ending for the story their classmates have just acted out.
- Split the class into groups of 2-3
- Give each group a “What Happened Next” comic template. They can decide if they want to draw a single picture or to divide up the page into comic strip panels.
- Encourage the students to think about what has happened in the story and to think about using science in their ending.
- Some students may not be confident at drawing. Encourage those students to be in charge of the direction their story takes. It is important that all students use their skills together and collaborate on the ending.
Part IV - Conclusion
Duration: 5 mins
- Provide an opportunity for groups to present their endings to the class.
- Congratulate all the students for creating unique endings to the story and reiterate that although their endings are different to the version that Ada and Theo experience, it does not make it any less valid.
- Highlight any endings which are particularly inventive, artistic, or use interesting scientific ideas or vocabulary.
Students collaboratively working on their story ending and an example ending