‘Plastics for every body’ - a collaborative approach is always the best approach

3 June 2020
Never has collaboration been so important with regards to how we are working at MoDiP.  During these extraordinary times, we have pulled together, reached out to our partner organisations and pushed and blended the boundaries of our roles for the better good of our students, schools, researchers and public.
For me personally, that meant making my newly written Cultural Hub project ‘Plastics for every body’ - about how plastics can help keep us safe, able and alive - available for teachers and their classes in a new and accessible way.
   'Superduper' Super Hero character sporting running blades. 
By artist and illustrator, Jake Rowlinson.
I wanted to support the amazing work that our Cultural Hub teachers have been doing lately, by providing the project in a digital format, so it could easily be delivered to children either in school or to those being home-schooled. At this point I would like to thank teachers at Heathlands Primary Academy, West Howe, and Canford Heath Infants for their invaluable advice and support regarding the most effective formats and content to use to reach our local children (some living in particularly challenging circumstances).  You know who you are – so thanks a million and I’ve been clapping you on Thursday evenings.
Another collaboration that MoDiP continues to enjoy is the special working relationship we have with Martin Brown, Horrible Histories illustrator. Martin has yet again done us proud, and provided us with a brilliant drawing of the now familiar ‘Mo the MoDiP girl’ for this project.  Thank you, Martin!
Mo, the MoDiP girl wearing her protective scooter gear (made of different plastics)  by Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown.
And a new and exciting young artist Jake Rowlinson, has also very generously created a stunning illustration of a super hero called ‘Superduper’ (see illustration header) with carbon fibre running blades for us to use for the project - making it just that little bit more exciting for everyone. Thanks Jake, and sorry we won’t get to see you play in your band at Wimborne Folk Festival this year…
Pre COVID-19, the project ‘Plastics for every body’ was to be centred around a museum handling collection and was to include artist-led workshops, with over 500 school children (Years 2 – 4) from five Cultural Hub schools enjoying a museum experience delivered in school, in conjunction with our current exhibition ‘Being me: plastics and the body’ 
Synthetic foot from the exhibition ‘Being me: plastics and the body’ Object number: AIBDC 008380
After a dramatic rethink of how we might still be able to deliver this project virtually, and to increase the project’s reach, the content has been rewritten and reproduced with the aim of engaging all primary key stage levels across 15 Cultural Hub schools - so hundreds more children will now be able to enjoy and be inspired by a museum experience provided by MoDiP.

The resources for ‘Plastics for every body’ can be printed out and/or followed on screen (presentations have audio options and are also available via YouTube) both for home-schooling and for use in the classroom.  So, whether children have access to a laptop or just a smart phone – or no access to technology at all and are receiving printed resource packs from school - no child will be excluded. And, with Wellbeing a top priority for school children, a mixture of creative activities and physical mini breaks have been incorporated.
These resources are only available to Cultural Hub schools at this time – so maybe some non-member schools will read this, and be encouraged to join the Cultural Hub collaboration.
Having an excellent working relationship with the Cultural Hub and member schools has been invaluable for MoDiP and demonstrates just how important true collaboration is.  Having worked as an active member of the Cultural Hub last year to create and deliver our Eco-plastic Detective project, I was delighted to have this opportunity to develop yet another one – especially in these extra challenging times for teachers.  We are thankful to the Cultural Hub for reapportioning MoDiP’s funding for this project – and hope it benefits our local children and inspires many future AUB creatives. 
Julia Pulman, Digital Communications Officer, Museum of Design in Plastics.