A new collaboration involving Helston's CAST building has seen children from eight schools in the area take a virtual trip to the Himalayas in a series of arts and science workshops.

These explored the history of wild rhododendron and the adventures of the Victorian botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker. Bringing together history, geography, science and art, the workshops took pupils back to the origins of the rhododendron in Northern India and Nepal.

CAST’s large 'black box' projection room was transformed into an area where children could take a trip to the Himalayas by experiencing the sights and sounds of the natural world through projections, and lie in an explorer’s tent to write 'journals' on their experiences while listening to the sound of tigers and elephants.

The workshops also included study activities in CAST’s learning studio, set up as a botanical centre where children could examine and draw flowers and seeds, investigate the naming of plants and craft their own specimens.

Led by artists Lucy Grant and Kate Turner, the ‘Art Lab’ workshops were developed with support from a London-based charity, the Garcia Family Foundation, which meant they could be offered for free.

Fourteen workshops took place in total, involving Trannack, Grade Ruan, Breage, Nansloe, Landewednack, Coverack School and Parc Eglos primary schools, and Helston Community College.

Teresa Gleadowe, chair of CAST, said: "We hope this will be the beginning of CAST working regularly with primary schools - if we can raise the money to do so."

The workshops received rave reviews from both teachers and pupils, with one saying: "I want to go on the adventure again and again."

Anyone schools wanting to be kept informed of plans for future workshops can contact Teresa Gleadowe at CAST via teresa@c-a-s-t.org.uk.