NASA scientists predict that the first person to visit Mars is currently sitting in a middle school classroom. To encourage that student’s path to greatness, NASA has joined forces with aerospace manufacturer Honeywell to present a touring show called “FMA Live.” The hip-hop infused production uses entertainment to promote math and science principles, specifically the groundbreaking discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (aka, “the man behind the motion”). Middle school students from Kennedy, King, Forrest Hill Academy and Long watched the performance — and a few assisted on stage.
Faux documentary clips of Newton’s early years as an awkward college student were intersperesed with dance performances and fun experiments such as kicking a small, medium and jumbo-size soccer ball into a goal; striving to jump highest onto a Velcro wall, and even racing miniature cars on stage. At the end of the show, each student had a firm grasp of Newton’s three Laws of Motion 1. Inertia, 2. Force = Mass x Acceleration 3. Action/Reaction.
“This program brings a level of intellectual energy that students wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise,” said Dr. Elizabeth Harris, principal of Long Middle School, who issued a challenge to students after the show. “Take all of this knowledge back to your schools, share it with other students and remember it in physical science class.”
Long Middle served as host for the event, where students are focused on fractions, algerbra and one-step equations. Math Coach Tamara Pearson said shows like “FMA Live” help teachers connect the dot between abstract concepts and real-world scenarios.
“As a teacher, I got a lot of students asking, ‘Why are we learning this?’ or ‘How does this relate to anything?'” Pearson said. “Anything that keeps them motivated and interested is good for them.”
The show also reinforced Atlanta Public Schools‘ aggressive Math and Science Initiative, which seeks to develop a renewed interest in those subject areas. Dr. Harris also noted that Long has a partnership with the Georgia Instsitute of Technology and will launch a robotics program this year. The modern school campus also has 20 Promethian boards to help promote innovative learning.
Who knows? You the first person to walk on Mars may be a student of Atlanta Public Schools.
Mark your calendar: Powerful Education for Children presents the 6th Annual “Family Night Out” at 6 p.m. Wed. Nov. 10 at Long Middle School. Parents are encouraged to celebrate their child’s exceptionality during the spaghetti dinner.