Putting the Spark Into Education


As we move into the future more engaging ways are needed to educate, support and inspire todays youth. Enter Sparky – a puppet from another planet. Originally created for the project “Imagination Our Nation” Sparky takes a unique role in encouraging young people to actively engage with their creativity.

With the direction of co-producers Ciaran McKay and Charlie Ralph, a team of creatives take Sparky to visit schools in the Medway area and run workshops with the pupils. The goal of the workshops is for all the pupils to collaboratively hold an annual event involving Sparky for the local community in Medway.

The workshops begin with teaching pupils how to animate Sparky in a way that mirrors their own movements. The class then develop their ideas for the theme of the community event, often using various art mediums and creative writing.

The way Sparky engages with children is unique and this impresses the teachers as much as the children. Discussing the positive effect Sparky has, Ciaran responds by saying “Sometimes you go into a class and there are children who lack so much self-confidence, but by the end of the workshop these quiet children are the ones most involved! Sparky puts so many smiles on children’s faces and I really love the joy that brings to all involved”.

The theme for the 2012 event is “The River” and this year it will take the form of a parade that will be held during Medway’s “Fuse Festival”.

Sparky and his more recently created brother Magma are just two of a family of 20 puppets that were created to represent different regions of the UK for “Imagination Our Nation” – a project devised by international carnival design group Kinetika.

If you would like to find out more about Sparky, Magma and the rest of their puppet family please contact:

Ciaran ceem@live.co.uk or Charlie charliecookdesign@gmail.com

By Natasha Steer

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