Teaching resources for Airship Dreamers

Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) has developed a series of teaching resources to help schools in and around Bedfordshire explore the iconic airships of Bedford’s past.

BCA’s Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity project, delivered in partnership with The Higgins Bedford, provides a great way for schools to link local, social history to the curriculum across a range of STEAM subjects. The Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity is one of BCA’s projects, which is an immersive artwork exploring Bedford’s airship heritage and it will be on display in The Higgins’ William Harpur Gallery until 28th November 2021.

There is also a community-curated exhibition which is running in The Higgins’ Connections gallery until March 2022 showcasing a community-sourced display of airship artefacts, stories, inspiration and memorabilia donated by airship enthusiasts from our local area and around the UK.  Artwork from Shortstown Primary School and Bedford College also forms part of this exhibition.

Image courtesy of Anne-Marie Abbate

The resources have been developed with Shortstown Primary School and the programme is called the Airship Dreamers Club. The free resources can be used to support curriculum teaching, just for fun, or can be shared with parents for them to engage with their children at home.

They include a Teacher’s guide, and Airship Dreamers Club resource pack, a curriculum map, a series of videos and a reading list.

The airships are a feat of science, engineering and imagination. They are from a different era and they offer so much when it comes to teaching as they fit into science and engineering, art and design, and history. The children of Shortstown Primary School enjoyed messy science experiments, as well as artistic and creative opportunities, such as making their own airship or writing about an imaginary flight on one.

Hannah Pereira, Shortstown Primary Art and Culture teacher said: “We were offered this amazing opportunity to take part in this programme. We were given so many different resources to work with. We had local artists working with the children, we had a science project from a local company. We also worked with historians from the Higgins Museum as well as a storyteller. It was a school wide project with different topics for each year group. It was very exciting and children learned so much as we also learned how proud they are of their heritage.”

For school group booking enquiries to visit and explore Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity this autumn, please email thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk

Once the children have engaged with a project to make an airship or to write a story about one, their finished work can be shared with BCA and printable certificates can be supplied for the children, or for a small cost, Airship Dreamers badges can be posted out.

To find out more about the free resources please visit www.airshipdreams.com.

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