NASA Developing Stage Show to Get Teens Interested in STEM Subjects
Nurturing students’ interest in STEM subjects has been a challenge which has been dogging parents and teachers for generations – hoping to inspire school-goers to pursue careers in the sciences. From science competitions to Bill Nye’s turn on children’s TV; endless attempts have been made to direct focus away from gory computer games and manufactured pop music, and towards science.
Now NASA are throwing their hat into the ring, developing a stage show in collaboration with US conglomerate, Honeywell, which will combine STEM subjects and principles with hip hop music and dancing. FMA Live! Forces in Motion will be performed across six states of the UK, taking in more than 40 public, private and military schools.
Inviting student volunteers to join in with the hip hop-influenced interactive science experiments, the show will demonstrate how physics and engineering play pivotal roles in everyday life. Every performance is centred around Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity and Three Laws of Motion – the name is even derived from Newton’s discovery that Force equals Mass times Acceleration.
Visiting middle schools, the show is aimed at students aged 11-13. Whilst the show has a strong hip hop undercurrent, more traditional means of sharing information are also included in the production. Students are shown interviews with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – demonstrating exactly where a career in one of the STEM subjects could take them with a little hard work and good luck.
Donald James, NASA’s associate administrator for Education, enthused: “It is critically important to get middle school-aged students aware of and excited about STEM topics—especially physics. We’ve seen FMA Live! make the introduction easier. Thanks to our collaboration with Honeywell, we’re inspiring students to set their sights on future careers in the critical STEM field.”
Mike Bennett, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, went on to explain the importance of ensuring the next generation receives sufficient inspiration to enter into STEM fields. He added: “Many of today’s engineering challenges will be solved decades into the future by the next generation of engineers and scientists. To prepare students to become tomorrow’s innovators, Honeywell invests in programs like FMA Live! to ignite that spark of inspiration in fun and relatable ways.”
A Teachers’ Lounge portal has been developed for the stage show, giving teachers access to materials and resources from the show, or request the show for their school if their area is yet to be covered.
Of course the physical classroom remains the most effective space to inspire students, with school science laboratories absolutely integral to the development of the next generation of STEM professionals. A high quality lab could be a major factor when students are deciding their career path.
At InterFocus, we can help you develop or upgrade a cutting edge laboratory suite for your school or higher education institute. For more information about how we can help you improve your STEM subject rooms, visit our homepage or call our dedicated team on 01223 894833.