Terri & the Time Machine

In partnership with our long-term supporters Z-arts we have secured Paul Hamlyn Foundation funding for an ambitious experiment in creative curriculum: Terri and the Time Machine.


With the aim of bringing the science curriculum to life, our creative team will deliver memorable experiences via the power of vivid story-telling, hands-on practical challenges & horizon-widening field trips, with the aim of building pupils’ science capital. With the help of Year 3, Investigator Terri creates a time machine – but finds herself trapped when the malfunctioning machine starts rocketing around in time and space. In an ongoing narrative of peril and adventure, can Year 3 work together to get her back?


Core Artistic Team on this project is:

Toni-Dee Paul

Sarah Punshon

Daniel Bye


Samuel Wilde

Sound Design: Nik Paget-Tomlinson
Zoom Technician: Humira Imtiaz
Production Management and Construction: Rob Athorn
Additional props-making: Louise Manifold

Curriculum Advisor: Dr Lynne Bianchi, Director of the Science and Engineering Education Research & Innovation Hub at Manchester University (SEERIH).

Funding has been secured to develop the project over three years, extending to more schools in the second and third year. The first year will be a pilot year working with three Heart of Manchester schools, Webster, St Mary’s Moss Side and Divine Mercy, working together to create a truly ground breaking project. Watch this space for more updates!

It was a great session and the best we’ve attended/been involved in! As soon as it finished the children asked if we’d be doing another one.”   Teacher feedback on Curious Investigators


  • Regular live Zoom calls with performers in character as “Investigator Terri”, a time-travelling engineer, and her colleague, “Investigator Giddy”
  • Sessions will begin with an imaginative prompt: an interaction with a performer via Zoom, an email or letter from a character, an exciting package to be unwrapped

  • Prompts will hook the children back into the story, reminding them of the high-stakes situation, and setting the scene for each particular challenge. Teachers will then support children to investigate Terri’s challenge, come up with creative solutions, and capture solutions in order to feed back to Terri – who’ll provide encouragement and reward.
  • In the first year, whilst we’re developing the full programme, members of our team will often be present in the classroom to support teachers; by the third year, teachers will be empowered and confident to deliver arts-based activity without our physical presence.
  • Provision for pupils to experience educational visits to help provide a context to learning.
  • Training and support for teachers to develop confidence in delivering the sessions within the classroom.

The programme is inspired by previous successful projects My Planet and Curious Investigators.

Project Specific Policies