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The Show Must Go On

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Science shows are cool, but not very interesting.

Remember that science show that you watched in your elementary school or at a museum? It was some guy who exploded some stuff and made things bubble and change color. Remember why he did any of it? Probably not, other than it looked super sweet.

…or kinda like this.

In college, I was part of a student-run chemistry show. Thanks to our intrepid advisor (hey, Karen, where are you now??), we created a fantastic (if I do say so) hour-long performance that actually engaged kids rather than merely burnt out a few retinas. We had skits, costumes, music and lights cues, and yes, explosions and things that changed color and bubbled. Because all of our demos had context, we know kids held onto the ideas longer. We got lots of thank you cards with crayon-drawn illustrations of various characters and certain key phrases. We even performed part of our show at the national ACS convention. In other words, we were awesome.

I do love me some Allie Brosh, even though she didn’t make this version of the picture.

So. I have started a science show with three kids at my high school. I’m not giving them total free-reign, but I will help them do whatever they want, within reason, for the elementary kids at our school.

Here’s where I need some help: I’m using the science show as part of my teaching license renewal (long story… just roll with it). BUT, I need to officially document some resource that tells me how to set up a science show. I can’t find something online beyond science fairs (and don’t have access to a couple of journals that might have something). If you have a person/journal article/book/anything else on how to set up a high school show, I’d really love to read/watch/hear about it!



2 responses »

  1. Such nostalgia for the chem show! I can still say “nitrocellulose” with a heavy Wisconsin accent.
    Well, if you want to go old-school and can get your hands on a couple of Shakhashiri demo books, that might work…?

    • That’s the thing. I know where to get demos, but finding a thing on how to structure the behind-the-scenes so the kids create stuff… That’s what I’m having trouble finding.


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