Outreach – Entomologists Anonymous


Entomologists Anonymous – Minerva Scientifica

A Workshop and Performance Project piloted by Ferndown Upper School in collaboration with Soroptimist International Bournemouth and Bournemouth University, October 2016

 ‘Once hooked on the microscope, life can never be long enough’.  Miriam Rothschild

This successful Pilot Project (presented as part of British Science Association London International Conference Nov. 2016)  is now available to schools across the UK (8yrs – 18yrs), in an adaptable format. WORKSHOP AIMS

  • To introduce Minerva Scientifica –  promoting awareness of women in science and music
  • To encourage the use of the voice for individuals and for group singing
  • To introduce the life and work of Miriam Rothschild and her work on fleas and butterflies and wild flower meadows.
  • To develop an understanding of the classification system used to identify insects.
  • To create with each group a layered vocal work inspired by insect classification
  • To rehearse and perform their works as part of a professional performance
  • To research and record the names of women in science as part of a sound work played in the performance
  • To reflect on the process and ideas generated by the project and their future application

The Outline of the Pilot Project below will give you an idea of how it works – if you’d like more details of how to make the project work for your school, please contact us.

Ferndown Upper School Project (Oct 2016)

Workshop Leaders: – electric voice theatre & guests
Frances M Lynch – Performer/composer
Karen Wimhurst –composer of “Miriam”
Peter Smithers –  entomologist and Miriam Rothschild expert
Erica McAlister –  Broadcaster & Curator (Diptera, Insects) Natural History Museum

Session 1 – Input (1.5hrs)
An introduction to vocal technique, Miriam Rothschild, Women entomologists and the careers open to those who are interested! A study of the classification of insects and the parallel layering of musical techniques as composing begins in groups.

Session 2 – Composition & Recording (1.5hrs)
The composer returns with developed compositions from the group work, and recording of the students talking about the women entomologists they have researched at home for use in the final performance.

Session 3 –Rehearsal (1.5hrs)
The groups refine and rehearse their compositions based on insect classification (Phorid Fly, Dragonfly and Tiger Beetle); sing the work created for them by the composer, and meet a women entomologist who introduces them to life in the profession.

Session 4Performance Day
The groups work together with the professional performers towards a public performance

Session 5 – Plenary Workshop (1 hr)
An informal recap with some data collection and classification!


Minerva Scientifica – Eva Crane Soundscape by Frances M Lynch for playback

How doth the little busy bee by Karen Wimhurst for solo voice

Entomologists Anonymous – by Frances M Lynch for mixed voices

“Insects” – a group of new works by the participating School

Minerva Scientifica –Miriam Rothschild Soundscape by Frances M Lynch for playback

Miriam by Karen Wimhurst for bass clarinet and voice

Miriam 5