Over the past few months we have been working with a group of young people from the SEND (Sneinton Energy Needs Direction) group at the Greenway Centre on a project funded by Nottingham Together. The project aimed to improve community cohesion and a sense of belonging in these young people, many of whom are from newly arrived communities. The idea was that the young people would give a creative interpretation of what 'science' means to them.
We worked with the group over the course of several weeks, introducing them to microscopes and looking at different objects under the microscopes. One of the microscopes we used can be attached to a phone camera and you can take magnified photographs of the object under inspection. The young people really like taking these photos, and seeing how everyday objects looked so different under closer inspection. We bought micro-lenses and gave them to the young people so they could go away and take close-up photos of things they were interested in.
They came back with photos of skin, jewellery, make-up, household objects, flowers and body parts. We kept working with the group to refine and edit their photos, until they were ready to be exhibited at the Dales Centre library. The photos were on show for three weeks, and members of the public were encouraged to interact with the exhibition by guessing the subjects of the photographs. The young people responded really well to seeing their work on show at their local library and the exhibition gave a sense of ownership by local people to the library.
Three of the photographs will now be displayed as a semi-permanent exhibition in the meeting room at the Dales Centre library.