the universe project: science

The scientific events from the beginning of the universe to the present day are the framework for the project, the music and other activities. Below is a selection of charts and pictures related to this and a complete Powerpoint display following the chain of events from the Big Bang to the present. This was devised by Rutherford research scientist Barry Kent who also did a session on the scientific facts the week before the project began. It was thus possible to begin each morning with a refresher session on the scientific aspect to each day.
During the initial talk by Barry Kent a string was pulled tight across the classroom and cards hung along it indicating the main events as a way of giving the class a visual idea of the sequence of events and the large gaps of time between sets of events. During the refresher sessions at the beginning of each morning it was possible to ask the class where along this string the events for the day were hanging and how close to each other they were.
The cards were as follows:
The big bang. Time begins. Light gets out. First stars. First stars burn up. Secondary stars. The solar system and the moon. Earth cools: crust and water. First organisms: bacteria. Oldest single cell fossil. Bacteria comes onto the land. First animals in water. The land turns green. First animals on land. Dinosaurs and first mammals. Exctincions. Evolution of primates. The first people. Modern humans.

The History of the Universe Complete Powerpoint presentation (13.5mb)
The Solar System
The Earth
The Consumer Society

The science side of the project can be expanded or simplified but there needs to be some reference to the story of the creation of the universe and the origins of life in order to give the music and activities a context. In the original performance of this piece in the Museum of Science in Oxford we also made use of fragments of mythic stories about the beginning of the world.