‘Dragons and Dinosaurs’ promotes collaboration, creativity and cultural engagement as the core element of this multidisciplinary and cross-community initiative, rooted in local heritage.
The project is funded by the Kilkenny Creative Ireland Programme 2022 and brings together Calmast STEM Engagement Centre, South East Technical University (coordinators), Castlecomer Discovery Park, artist Órla Bates, Castlecomer Library and pupils from Presentation Convent Castlecomer and Castlecomer Boys National school.
Taking place over four weeks, the project will begin with each school embarking on an educational tour of Castlecomer Discover Park, pupils will learn about the history of the park, biodiversity, climate change, extinction and the fossils discovered there in a hands-on, open and outdoor setting. The fossils, which include crocodiles, snakes and dragonflies, were some of the early animals to walk on land. Today they are creatures that still inspire awe, especially in young people who are exploring the centre.
Following on from the tour, over three sessions students will work with artist Órla Bates, a qualified teacher in art and design education who has over fifteen years of experience. Using the natural heritage of the Discovery park as a focus, Orla will guide the students in developing their creative skills, culminating with each student producing their own “art print” to reflect their creative journey. Topics that will be covered include climate change, biodiversity, fossils and extinction.
The collective prints from each school will come together to form a public exhibition which will be held In Castlecomer library.