As founder of Imaginaturalists, I wish to inspire a love of science in children by engaging them with creative expression and experiential learning.
Imaginaturalists encourages children to utilise their powers of observation and gives them the skills to express these through fun and creative means. The hands on interactive nature of these cross-curricular courses mean that the children gain an understanding of the building blocks of science, scientific principles and skills to express these creatively.
After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), I worked as a research assistant in several marine biology laboratories. I was employed at the University of Sydney until I was lucky enough to travel to Casey Station, Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division's Human Impacts Team as a Research Assistant.
I then completed an Honours thesis " Reproduction and the Evolution of Development in Abatus sp., Marsupiate Echinoids Endemic to Antarctica".
My family and I moved to Maitland, NSW and I leapt at the opportunity to combine my two passions, science and art. I undertook a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle, graduating in 2018, with Distinction and being awarded a Faculty Medal for The Faculty of Education and Arts in 2018.
I have been commissioned to undertake public artworks around Maitland, including a 55m long Australian birds mural at the Maitland City Library. My illustrations have been published in botanical books and scientific papers and theses.
“Imaginaturalists provides learning experiences that capture the student’s imagination and inspire them to explore their creativity through science, art, critical thinking and mathematics. Students engage with curiosity, optimism and a passion for driving their own learning through individualised opportunities to be creative thinkers”.
"Gillian has transformed our students into Imaginaturalists during her weekly visits in Term One. Our students have eagerly awaited a new lesson each week and explored the meeting of art and science through the beauty of birds and botany. Gillian has responded to individual needs, deepened student understanding with her scientific knowledge and sparked creativity and curiosity with engaging activities. Our students have developed confidence, been amazed at their own improvements and discovered new talents and interests through Imaginaturalists."
The Imaginaturalist program supported our students in focusing their eye on the striking detail and nuances of the natural world. By complementing scientific observations and insights with illustrative techniques Gillian engaged each and every student across K-6 in stimulating activities. Students tapped into the local environment for inspiration and amazed themselves with the sophistication and quality of their artworks. We look forward to engaging Gillian again to further explore the realms of art and science!
"I have learnt so much about the world, adaptations and how things behave and why they look and act differently"
The teacher is just off-the-chart amazing! She was so helpful, she showed us what to do. I learnt so much and had truckloads of fun. I wish we could do Imaginaturalists everyday.
"I am a lot better at shading and using a light source to give shadow to my drawings, which makes me feel I can draw anything now"
In Imaginaturalists I enjoyed drawing, learning about Nature and just having fun. I hope I get to do it again next term.
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