STEM Turns into STEAM

FusionScienceTheaterShow

Want to submit an application for a ChemClub Community Activity Grant before June 1, but don’t have a project idea? Or, is your Club simply looking for something new to try? Why not turn STEM into STEAM? Fusion Science Theater (FST) takes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education to a new creative level by adding the Arts. The Fusion Science Theater website describes FST as a STEAM outreach program that uses the secrets of theater to create outreach shows that actively engage children in learning science. They’re short, interactive shows that weave demonstrations together with predictions, modeling, and a storyline, targeted for an audience of grades 1 through 5.

How can you bring this program to your area? Apply for a Community Activity Grant to purchase a FST show performance kit! The kit will give your Club everything they need to perform the show in your community. The kits include a show script, video of a live performance of the show, list of materials and props you’ll need, a handbook for training and performance tips, and even instructions on how to assess learning achieved during the show.

Choose from:

  • If I Were an Atom to explore kinetic molecular theory and how atoms move in the solid phase. Watch a video preview.
  • Bouncemania! with a “Wrestlemania”-style match between happy & sad toy balls to learn about polymers and molecular structure. Who will be crowned “The World’s Bounciest Ball”? Watch a video preview.
  • Will It Light? to test and model the flow of electricity through different substances, as students investigate conductivity. Watch a video preview.

FST shows are more than just sharing your typical demos. They are inquiry-based. Show characters lead students to investigate a question that motivates the audience to learn a basic chemical concept. The shows are highly interactive. Audience members get to assist on stage, vote for their prediction of what will happen in a demonstration, and more. It’s easy to measure the impact and learning using assessment info included in the kit. The theater techniques and elements used are a great way to keep your audience’s attention.

For more information, download a PDF of the FST flier that was also included in a recent ACS ChemClub resource packet.

Get out there and generate some STEAM!

A Gold Medal Activity for ChemClubs

2014_olympics_750x138

The 2014 Winter Olympics is a celebration of the world’s best athletes. Over 80 countries and 2,500 competitors will participate in seven sports and nearly 100 events.

Many of us love to watch the traditional sports such as ski jumping or hockey, but this year there are a dozen new sports.  Among the new events is Slopestyle skiing, which features skiing backwards, grinding on rails and circus-quality flips.

The good news for science teachers is a new video series that explores STEM content of the winter games.

The video series—The Science and Engineering of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games—was produced by a partnership of NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation National Science Foundation (NSF). The result is a series of high-interest STEM videos to use as part of your regular classroom or as part of a ChemClub meeting. Each video is around 5 minutes long and full of science and engineering design concepts. The videos feature one or two athletes and weave their stories into the science and technology that supports their quest for medals.

Topics include:

    Man snow skiing

  • Stablity and Vibration in Alpine Skiing
  • Shaun White and Engineering the Half Pipe
  • Science of Ice
  • Science of Snow
  • Nick Goepper and the Physics of Slopestyle Skiing
  • And more

There are also lesson plans and activities from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The series is available cost-free on www.NBCLearn.com and www.science360.gov.

There is no better lesson than to show students how chemistry works in their everyday lives.  If you decide to use this series you can take satisfaction in the possibility that although students might be watching the skill of the Slalom ski racers, they could be thinking all about science!