Session S18a (Monday, 9:30am, Wartik 106)

P105: Using theater techniques to teach basic science concepts

Brittland DeKorver, Christopher Babiarz (University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA), Holly Walter Kerby (Madison Area Technical College, USA)

Fusion Science Theater (FST) is a nationally-recognized organization that has developed methods to teach science concepts by integrating theater techniques with best practices in science education. These innovative methods, including dramatization of particulate models and investigation as plot, have been used to create science education outreach shows that increase engagement and concept knowledge in children 4-11, as measured by embedded assessment. Our research suggests that theater can provide an empowering learning experience for those who might otherwise dismiss careers in science. FST shows have also been performed by undergraduates who report increased interest and self-efficacy in teaching.

This presentation will present rationale for using theater to teach science, introduce FST tools, and provide examples of FST shows and lessons. We will also discuss emerging opportunities for using these techniques in formal teaching environments.


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