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A BEACON OF LIGHT
Students launch creative pandemic exhibition
An exhibition created by students at Duke’s Secondary School in Ashington runs at Newcastle Cathedral from 30 September – 15 October 2021, exploring the impact of COVID-19 on young people in North East communities.
Entitled Pan@NCEA – merging the words ‘pandemic’ and the acronym for Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust – the project combines elements of the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to tell the story of the pandemic through a series of fun, hands-on experiments and collections of students’ work.
Duke’s Secondary School in Ashington, which is part of the Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust, oversaw the creation of installations that highlight how the North East responded to COVID and what it’s been like for people in our communities to ‘live through history’.
The whole school has been involved in aspects of the project, from taking part in activities during science lessons and tutor time to support the conceptual research, to the construction of the exhibition itself.
Contributors include Duke’s Secondary School’s Principal, Mr Russ Atkinson and Father Laurence Freeman, Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation.
Visitors can see the results of interactive experiments, including real-life X-Rays to show healthy lungs versus lungs infected by COVID-19, a smell test and a demonstration of how bacteria spreads, using slime.
Dr Jodi Harrison, Academic Mentor at Duke’s Secondary School, who led the project for the students, says:
“We’re so excited to take our Pan@NCEA project on tour. COVID-19 has been the single biggest challenge that many of our young people have ever had to face.
“While many people simply want to put the pandemic behind them, we felt it was important to really explore the impact of COVID-19 on a scientific, economic and historic level to fully appreciate the gravitas of what we’ve lived through.
“The students threw themselves into the challenge and worked incredibly hard to create something which is truly reflective of not just their own experience of the coronavirus, but of the experience of our communities as a collective.”