Concert takes fun, upbeat look at learning
In an attempt to spread science to the masses, NASA and Honeywell Hometown Solutions recently treated Toronto middle school students to the award-winning science/hip-hop concert tour, FMA Live!
Named after Sir Isaac Newton’s second law (Force=Mass x Acceleration), FMA Live! features a blend of music, live performers, videos and interactive demonstrations. The show includes clever hip-hop songs with lyrics that aim to educate youth about science, in a manner that is different than the classroom.
“If you are a student and your teacher tells you something in class, you won’t remember it as well as if you learn it through a fun, catchy song,” said Brian Stoddart, director of human resources for Honeywell Canada.
Sponsored by NASA and funded by Honeywell, FMA Live! has visited 339 schools over the last five years in the U.S. and Canada. Because they believe educating young students about science is so important, Honeywell does not charge schools for the tour visits.
The importance of the issue lies in a NASA study that reveals within the next decade, job opportunities in science, math and engineering fields will increase at a faster rate than all other occupations. At the same time, there is a decrease in the number of people entering engineering and science programs at the university level in Canada.
Stoddart says it is Honeywell’s goal to change this by inspiring the next generation to study math and sciences. “If we catch them at a young age, like Grade 7 or 8, they will take the appropriate courses in high school that are needed to pursue a career in these fields,” he said.
Jenny Georgiou, vice-principal of Toronto’s Samuel Hearne Sr. Public School, agrees. “This is a great way to showcase the science curriculum and to teach kids that it is relevant to real life,” she said. “As well, it also gets them to think about their career path now.”
In Georgiou’s eyes, Honeywell’s unique formula is a success with students. When FMA Live! visited her school last year, the results were evident. “Students seemed to be much more engaged in science class after last year’s performances — there was a huge difference,” she said.