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Science Shows for Schools:

Shows for primary schools related to science and the environment, suitable for schools, theatres, and science events for key stage 1 and key stage 2 children

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"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
                    
Albert Einstein

Science for Children

Footprints in the sky is a show about science. but it doesn't look like a science lesson or science demonstration, in fact it looks more like a clown show, so here is what is in the show and how it relates to the science curriculum key stage 1 and 2

 

 

The production is a series of short comic acts linked to form a cohesive narrative,  with each piece referring to a particular area of the curriculum.

The essential message is, that it is important to  ask good questions, before you look for answers. 

The use of comedy  engages the audience so that they don’t realise that this is an attempt at education!

Magic is used because before the advent of science people believed magic to be the major causative factor in the world. Science demystified the world by providing rational explanations for magic.

 

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And here is the hero of the tale - William B Curious (Will B Curious) who is fascinated by the world and asks a lot of questions

 Act 1   Introduction 

William B Curious  introduces himself  and establishes the nature of the show - This is a lot of fun and there will be lots to join in with!

He begins with a quiet but funny bit of storytelling and how he came to meet Mr Willy Why-when-what-when-how-who who gave him the Book of Questions

Theatre in Education Show to stimulate interest in the national science curriculum 2

 

The narrative is driven by a large ‘Book of Questions’ that directs the character to experiment and enquire. Written in rhyme it begins by raising questions related to basic science. There is also a ‘Curiosity Box’ from which objects appear. The theme of the performance is a simple rhyme derived from the first part of the curriculum - Ideas and Evidence. 

Finding answers is easy, you don’t need to try - Just ask a good question: How, What, When or Why?

 

So the first part of the show is all about good questions - the type of questions that have more than one answer, and those answers in turn give rise to more questions.

 Act 2   Forces

A slapstick piece investigating the nature of different forces and their effects on objects. So how does a walking stick  stand up unaided then fly through the air and whack our hapless hero on the bottom just when he bends over to pick up something that fell down due to the force of gravity? Forces make things move and stop and can cause pain and sound and a whole lot more. The point is to create an amusing situation that children will remember which can then be explained further in lessons about forces - a part of science that children often find difficult or boring.

 Act 3   Sound

A honking cushion, a tempestuous trumpet, and a crazy kazoo, conspire against Will to demonstrate some of the properties of sound: It has a source and travels through a medium and it gets quieter as you move away from the source, and if you play the trumpet as badly as Mr B Curious, it sounds rather like a rude noise!

 Act 4  Air and Gravity

The Book of Questions now presents a riddle about air leading to a section in which experimentation brings an understanding of the buoyancy and density of the atmosphere. This develops into a colourful and balletic  piece ending with a magic trick that children will want to unravel - which can be done easily by asking good questions that go beyond 'how is it done'. This leads into a section on the light spectrum and how Newton actually got it wrong, which  then carries us into the next section on investigative skills.

Act 5 Investigative Skills

An amusing optical illusion demonstrates that although you use your senses to observe, they can deceive you, thus demonstrating the need for objective measurements. Observe and record before jumping to conclusions.

 Act 6   The water Cycle

This section begins with an amusing but apposite look at the reason for the need of living things to have a constant intake (and output) of water. This is followed by a magic trick in which water poured into a hat disappears, leading to the question of where water comes from, where it goes, and where it might have been!

Act 7 Application of what has been learned

William now uses some of the information he has recently acquired about how gravity can be balanced with the buoyancy of the atmosphere to enable him to perform an entertaining trick. (In which he manages to walk with a large feather balanced on his nose).  

Act 8 Finale

The show ends with William telling the audience that the show is about understanding the world, and understanding the world is what we call 'science'. They are then encouraged to make their own book of questions as part of their ongoing work in class.

Follow-up Work

Teachers are supplied with a pack with classroom activities and experiments, with suggestions for how the show might be linked to topics in the science curriculum, demonstrating that asking good questions is a prerequisite to learning.

It is usually possible to have a discussion with a small group after the show to elaborate on the theme of good questioning skills

To view the follow up work click here

 Follow up Work

Theatre in Education Show to stimulate interest in the national science curriculum 3

 

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N.B. This work is continuously evolving and there may be variations, additions, or exclusions from the above which is intended only as a guide.

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When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

Walt Disney