By Adel Al-Salloum, Head of Creative Partnerships for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK


UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK has been holding science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) themed events across the UK this year, with more to come! The events give attendees the opportunity examine ideas of who we are, and how we fit into the world through STEAM.

Figuring out their identity can be particularly pertinent to children and young people as they start learn more about the world and their place in it. UNBOXED are keen to cater to this audience, and have released free learning resources which accompany four of their events. 

Adel Al-Salloum, Head of Creative Partnerships for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK tells us about the events, and how the resources allow children of all ages to get involved and get thinking.

Questions of identity – who we are and how we belong in the world - are usually approached through the arts and humanities.

But when UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK commissioned 10 awe-inspiring projects across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, they created learning programmes that explore questions of identity and diversity through the prism of science.

UNBOXED is a celebration of creativity, shaped across science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics by brilliant minds working in unexpected collaborations, presented across the UK during 2022.

When it commissioned scientists and artists to work together to produce events and experiences in-person and online, there was no brief to explore identity and diversity through science - and yet four of the teams produced learning that does just that.

About us

About Us is a major open-air show that uses projection mapping, animation, music and poetry to explore our place in the universe and the networks that connect us all.

This multimedia spectacular has inspired a learning programme that invites schoolchildren of all ages to consider who they are in the context of the wider world. Themed lesson-plan suites on Earth and Space, The Human Body and The Natural World each use scientific exploration to encourage pupils’ thinking about who they are and how they’re connected to the wider world. Different lesson plans are suitable for pupils aged four up to 18, and are available as free PDFs – some with supplementary films that are free to stream online.

Access the free About Us learning resources here


Dreamachine is an immersive journey into the extraordinary potential of the human mind – a colourful new world conjured entirely from light and music by the power of the brain, unique to every individual who takes part in this multisensory experience.

 The project is the springboard for an extensive learning programme that invites young people aged 5–13 to consider the wonder of the mind through a scientific prism. These 60-minute PDF lesson plans use scientific investigation to develop children’s understanding of scientific concepts, inspiring their curiosity and deepening their awareness of how we interact with the world.

Power of the Brain is a set of three learning resources that explore both the brain’s interaction with the senses and the neural pathways, patterns and connections that shape memory. Perception and Illusion, meanwhile, is a suite of five lesson plans that discuss how the brain enables our perceptions of the world. Two additional Dreamachine learning activities also feature in the free Primary and Secondary activity packs for British Science Week 2022.

Access the free Dreamachine learning resources here

Our place in space

Our Place in Space is a three-dimensional sculpture trail centred on an epic scale model of the solar system – encouraging people to reconsider what it means to live life on our planet by asking: ‘If we could look back at Earth from space, what would we feel?’

Our Place in Space has inspired a wealth of resources that use science to explore identity, diversity and ways we could better protect our planet for future generations. The three lessons in the Planet Earth suite explore different aspects of life on Earth: what makes our planet unique, and how we can help to prevent climate change and pollution from affecting our lives. The Solar System, meanwhile, uses the planets and the Sun as prompts to explore our place in the universe across four separate lesson plans.

Each of these learning resources is designed for schoolchildren aged 7–11, and is available as a free downloadable PDF with illustrations by children’s author Oliver Jeffers – one of the creative minds behind Our Place in Space.

Access the free Our Place in Space learning resources here


PoliNations is a magical forest garden in the heart of Birmingham – a dazzling celebration of colour and beauty inspired by the natural and cultural diversity that defines our society.

This extraordinary installation has inspired three lesson plans that variously use science to explore our identity. In particular, the lesson plans titled Biodiversity and Diversity use the fact that around 80% of plants in UK city-gardens originated overseas to explore our country’s multicultural identity. Designed for pupils aged 7–11, the lessons are available on a free downloadable PDF.

Access the free PoliNations learning resources here

All UNBOXED lesson plans and learning resources are free. They have been developed by educational experts working with the teams behind each project. Available as PDFs, slides, videos (hosted on platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube) and other downloadable files in common formats, they can all be downloaded or streamed on demand by any UK school for free.

 UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK, and is co-commissioned with Belfast City Council, EventScotland and Creative Wales.

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