Life in the laboratory

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutors: Thomas Gosselin, Gilles Rochier/ draughtsmen

Project manager: Mathieu Marion

 

Objectives:
What is a researcher and what happens in research laboratory? This workshop takes the classes into the vast, mysterious world of research. A comic book author helps the class to tell the story of one or several events, real or fictitious, that take place in a science laboratory.
During this workshop, the pupils worked on the scenario and the storyboard as well as discovering a whole new world. It was divided into four phases:

Workshops:
The world of comic books
The tutor introduced a pupil to various streams in comic book writing by reading and analysing several comic novels. Then, with the help of a scientist, they thought about the world of research and the way a laboratory functions.

Visiting a laboratory
The pupils spent two half-days in a laboratory to gather material for their scenario. They took photographs and made drawings, observing the people who work there, the things they do, the equipment they use, the way the place is organised, and interaction between the people. Interviews with researchers were organised as a complement to their observations.

Stories and characters
When they had finished the survey, the pupils were asked to pool their information and work out a scenario. Helped by the artist, they invented a highly imaginative, action-packed story with lots of characters.

The comic book
Once the story was finalised, the pupils had to sketch the various situations and so produce their comic book. For this stage, the artist could either use the pupils who were best at drawing, or choose a graphic mode adapted to all users, or draw the comic book himself, following the pupils’ instructions.

Outcome:
The pupils’ work was compiled in a magazine called “Life in the Laboratory”. It was printed in several tens of copies which the classes distributed within their schools (in the library media centre). They also held meetings to discuss their ideas. 

 

Outings (selection):
- VISIT TO THE CHEMISTRY LABORATORIES AT ENS CACHAN
- VISIT TO THE MATERIALS AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS LABORATORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PARIS DIDEROT

Participating schools:
- Class (4th-3rd SEGPA) Collège Descartes, Tremblay-en-France
- Class (5th) Collège Lavoisier, Pantin

 

Photo: PIERRE ANTOINE

Life in the laboratory
Life in the laboratory
Life in the laboratory