Interactive science program comes to city schools

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A unique science education initiative made a stop at two city schools last week.

Forces in Motion Live!, an award-winning program that teaches Newton’s laws of motion and gravity, took place at John F. Kennedy Middle on Sept. 12 and Forest Glen Middle on Sept. 16. The program was free of charge to the schools.

Honeywell and NASA partnered to create the initiative in order to give middle school students interactive and engaging exposure to space, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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“This is something new and great,” said Debra Shapiro, technology education teacher at Forest Glen Middle. “The music and activities meet them on their level.”

Over the course of the show, there was a host of educational videos, interactive activities and a hip-hop concert. The most popular activities during the Forest Glen Middle show were sumo wrestling and the Velcro wall, according to Melvin Bradshaw, the school’s principal.

For the Velcro wall, students donned Velcro suits and jumped off a spring board onto a the wall. The purpose of the activities was to give students visual interpretations of Newton’s laws.

Bradshaw said the program facilitated the comprehension of the subject matter for the students.

“When [they] see something happen on stage, it makes them remember it better,” Bradshaw said. “They learn it more and apply it more.”

Teachers seemed to have a blast with the program as well.

“We had teachers come in who weren’t even math and science teachers,” Shapiro said.

Forces in Motion Live! has toured around the country for the last several years and Bradshaw hopes the program returns to his school for years to come.

“They enjoyed it a lot,” he said. “They interacted with the students and teachers and kept their attention and kept them involved.”