150 students from six secondary schools in Eastbourne will head to their local beach to spend the day working with artists, scientists and teachers, researching and exploring the impact of plastics on our beaches and marine life.
The first part of the day will be spent collecting, sorting and clearing plastic and other rubbish from the beaches with help from Eastbourne Borough Council, Surfers Against Sewage, STEM Sussex and the Marine Conservation Society. Then, from the iconic Spyglass beach hut, Eastbourne based photographer, Elizabeth Doak and the team from Photoworks will lead a programme of creative photography activities designed to help students investigate the collected debris.
The schools taking part (Cavendish School, Ratton School, Eastbourne Academy, Eastbourne College, Willingdon Community School and Seaford Head School) are members of the Eastbourne Schools Partnership and will be working towards achieving Artsmark as part of the programme. Participating students will gain Arts Award accreditation and their work will be showcased in a public exhibition at the end of June in Eastbourne.
The day is part of a wider schools STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) programme, led by an alliance of Eastbourne schools with Photoworks and STEM Sussex, that sees art and science teachers collaborating with photographers and marine ecologists to plan and deliver cross-curricular projects using both creative and scientific activities to help the students learn why urgent changes are needed to protect our oceans and coastlines from plastic pollution.
The programme is funded by Artswork South East Bridge as part of their Department For Education Networks Programme and is a partnership between the Eastbourne Schools Partnership, Photoworks and STEM Sussex.
Photoworks Learning and Participation Curator, Juliette Buss, says, “We are thrilled so many children will be using photography to think about their environment in new ways and learn about the difference they can make by working with such an incredible range of artists and scientists”.