Fusion Science Theater: An Innovative Model to Sow and Grow The Seeds of STEM Through Community-Based Science Theater

October 1st, 2007 - September 30th, 2010 | PROJECT

Madison Area Technical College will refine and evaluate the effectiveness of Fusion Science Theater (FST), a combination of theater, science demonstrations, and participatory components, as an ISE teaching model, to test its transferability through development and trials of an exportable version (Science-in-a-Box), and to recruit appropriate partners nationally in preparation for a larger scale implementation and evaluation. A Fusion Science Theater event utilizes the collaborative effort of applied expertise in science, theater and education. These events support playful interactions as characters engage the emotions of the audience. The Act-It Out sequences invite children and parents to become involved in modeling scientific concepts, thus creating an environment where learning is the product of social interaction and kinesthetic, affective and interpersonal learning. To provide proof-of-concept that this a transferable model, an independent, interdisciplinary team from the University of Wisconsin, Madison Biotechnology Center will produce their own FST event that will be evaluated and compared to an existing FST program. The Madison Children's Museum will partner as a venue for the event and provide expertise in the planning process. The ultimate project resulting from this planning would include workshops to train collaborative teams from around the country in the principles and practices of FST, promotion of cross-disciplinary collaboration among professionals, and honing of an evaluation design for FST events. The trained teams would then produce FST events that reach children, their parents and the general public. The planning grant project design includes activities necessary to further test, verify and document Fusion Science Theater events. It provides a proof of concept of model effectiveness and transferability. It also initiates, develops and assesses ways to train other groups to implement the model and publicizes the model to national professional networks to spread the work and recruit site teams.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Summative Evaluation of Fusion Science Theater Planning Grant
Fusion Science Theater: An Innovative Model to Sow and Grow The Seeds of STEM Through Community-Based Science Theater
Fusion Science Theater presents the Amazing Chemical Circus: A New Model of Outreach that uses Theater to Engage Children in Learning

Team Members

Holly Kerby, Principal Investigator, Madison Area Technical College


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0732142
Funding Amount: 74981


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Pre-K Children (0-5) | Scientists
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Chemistry | Physics
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs | Theater Programs