Thursday, April 14, 2016

What's the Matter?

By Joshua McCarry

What happens when a science teacher, a teaching artist, and an 8th grade class learn about phases of matter through dance and theater?

Ideas COLLIDE!  Imaginations EXPAND!  Particles move in different and unpredictable ways.  

Last month, I got the chance to collaborate with DISES Science teacher Mickie Flores to create an original play which follows a water particle on a dizzying adventure through matter- solid, liquid, and gas- not to mention a storm cloud, a melting icicle in New York City and a cup of hot cocoa in Alaska. 

The project, entitled What's the Matter?, integrates the arts with science to form an understanding of the molecular structure of the world around us.  Much of the work was student-led; with the class writing an original script, composing a soundtrack with DISES music teacher Beth Kyzer, and crafting a set made of Wordart.  

Visual art skills and molecules collide as the set is built for What's the Matter?

8th grade musicians at DISES worked with original scores and scripts to accompany a 
water molecule's journey through matter. 

Students demonstrate their understanding of the content using dance to explore the 
movement of liquid particles.  

8th grader Katie Hutchinson displays her artwork for the show.  
Gas molecules expand- and so does a smile!