Recently, the Deadly Moons workshop by astronomer, artist and educator Deirdre Kelleghan has inspired over 200 children of 8-12 years in Ireland with art and astronomy. UNAWE and Deadly Moons have been recognised for by Science Magazine with its Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) award in 2011.
Roscommon County Libraries engaged Deirdre to run six Deadly Moons for their Children's Book Festival in October 2017. As it was close to World Space Week, the workshops were also included to celebrate that global event. 174 children took part in the Roscommon Library workshops in several venues, including St Mary's NS Strokestown and St Patricks NS in Frenchpark, Co Roscommon. Roscommon County Library (Headquarters), and in Castlerea Town Library.
Deadly Moons at St Mary's Strokestown Co Roscommon.
“As it has been some time since I did Deadly Moons, I decided to alter it slightly. So when the children had finished their drawings I asked them to notate them with the information they remembered from the presentation. It could be a single fact or just something that particularly interested them about their choice of moon.”
Outstanding drawing of Mimas at Deadly Moons.
Of course, the fact that Titan is smelly or Enceladus has an Ocean inside it, or that Europa had features with Irish names, were the facts that a lot of children included. Plus I wanted the children to notate the limb and terminator if they could also. Just one small fact would have been enough with their drawings, but some children wrote sentences and were very happy to do so. Mimas was a very popular choice, with some beautiful drawings produced in all venues.
Deadly Moons at Foxford NS Co Mayo Ireland.
Blackrock Castle Observatory requested Deirdre to do a Moon workshop on their behalf, with Foxford NS Co Mayo during November, Science Week 2017. “As the slightly revamped version went down so well in Roscommon, I chose to do Deadly Moons for them.” 30 children took part in the Deadly Moon workshop during Science Week.
Titan smells like slurry and petrol mixed together.
The drawings produced are quite detailed. According to Deirdre, this is because of two reasons: “First, I show wonderful images from the Cassini spacecraft and secondly, I go around to each child and offer tuition to help improve something in their drawings that might benefit from a little advice. So, mainly making them aware of contrast, blending, texture and using the pastels to create well-defined shadows and highlights.”
At St Patricks Strokestown - Deadly Moons. This boy attempted to reproduce Deirdre's drawing of our Moon.
“One of the things that surprised me was that some children made a choice to draw my drawing of the moon! A very difficult task. However, I had actually brought my drawing with me so if a child made that choice they had exclusive access to it on the desk beside them. In Foxford NS I was both surprised and very pleased that the teacher instructed the children to exhibit their drawings on the classroom wall immediately after the workshop.”
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About Deadly Moons
The Deadly Moons workshop is a multidisciplinary activity for children of ages 6-12, combining art, science and ICT, teaching skills like communicating information, hands-on learning and using imagination. In Irish, saying ‘that’s deadly’ is another way of saying that something is amazing, or awesome.
Deadly Moons has travelled all over the world: at an exhibition at the opening of International Year of Astronomy 2009 in the UNESCO building in Paris France, EU-UNAWE event at Europa Kijkdagen in Brussels, science events in Poland, The Netherlands, Vietnam, Ghana in Africa, Hofstra University New York, Vancouver Canada, and Reykjavik Iceland.