International Journal of Art & Design Education

Scientific Toys: Linking Art, Science and Technology in Primary School

Volume 14.2   1995



This paper is a report of a project in teaching technology in primary school. Despite the Technology Orders (1990), children still seemed to making the same, ad hoc objects. The unexplored potential in teaching technology, and the creative arts were generally marginalised in the emphasis put on teaching the rudiments of literacy and numeracy. Also children were polarised towards the arts or the sciences, often along gender lines. My interest in science was awakened by my toy making: dolls with hair which stood on end because of static electricity, chemical weather predictors which changed snowy landscapes into spring, wheeled animals which bucked or hopped depending on the placement of their wheels: science was the alchemy behind these transformations. I thought that toy making could be used in primary schools, and that starting from my own background as an artist, I could perhaps inspire a creative approach to science, art, and technology.