The "greatest show on earth" took a spin with Newton's Laws of Motion at the Circus Arts Conservatory’s Education Outreach at Sailor Circus on Jan. 19 and 20.
About 2,000 Sarasota and Manatee County students saw the whimsical but still educational shows at Sailor Circus on Bahia Vista Street.
The Circus Arts Conservatory showcased a curriculum it has developed that demonstrates the physics, engineering, art, and collaborative problem-solving required to produce a contraption-filled circus performance that's equal parts thrilling and fact-based.
“Today's program is a presentation of the educational curriculum that fifth graders study with Newton’s Law," said CAC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Mitchell. "We partnered with USF and local educators to develop this curriculum that brings to life these difficult scientific concepts.”
The circus science machine is a presentation that demonstrates physics, gravity, force and motion that includes in-class curriculum based on Newton’s Laws of Motion.
"This is the culmination of the curriculum they are doing in the classroom," said education outreach program manager Karen Bell. "What we are doing is showing the same scientific concepts that apply in a small way. We hit the learners in all the different learning styles: reading, vocal, visual, kinesthetic learners, audio learners which make this a deeper curriculum so they learn at a deeper level. We have been doing this since 2012."
Created by circus science engineers at the conservatory, the circus machine is divided into sections throughout the stage which consists of balls rolling down ramps, dominoes being knocked over and mouse traps being set off.
After each demonstration, a circus act followed. Elementary and middle school students cheered at the top of their lungs after each performance and laughed with Bucky, the clown.
“I’m excited to be here and see how the circus works,” said Manatee Elementary fifth grader Jarques Randall.
“Local Sarasota high school circus magnet students are the performers. They are also bringing circus arts to these fifth graders," said Mitchell. "They are infusing science, math, engineering and the performing arts. These kids wouldn’t get out to a show, so this kind of opportunity exposes them to performing arts and teaches these really difficult scientific concepts.”