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ERIC Number: EJ920318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Fusion Science Theater Presents "The Amazing Chemical Circus": A New Model of Outreach that Uses Theater to Engage Children in Learning
Kerby, Holly Walter; Cantor, Joanne; Weiland, Marcia; Babiarz, Christopher; Kerby, Anne W.
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n10 p1024-1030 Oct 2010
Demonstration shows are a popular form of chemical education outreach used to increase interest, engagement, and appreciation of chemistry. Although practitioners often include instructional elements, evaluation has been limited to children's attitudes toward science rather than their understanding of the underlying concepts presented. In 2006, we developed an interdisciplinary demonstration show that used elements from theater to engage children's minds, emotions, imaginations, and bodies in the act of learning. The result was "The Amazing Chemical Circus", a show that laid the groundwork for a new model of science education outreach that we call Fusion Science Theater. Assessments of learning following presentations of "The Amazing Chemical Circus" indicate significant gains in children's conceptual knowledge as well as their attitudes toward science. In this article, we draw parallels between scientific investigation and theatrical practices that reveal common underlying principles at work. We also report on the show's development, form, content, evaluation, and impact. Finally, we outline the Fusion Science Theater model, and briefly discuss the implications for chemical educators and students who wish to enhance their own outreach efforts. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin