If Shakespeare was right and all the world’s a stage, then it is fitting that the Curious Chemists team has set its sights on bringing the world’s most challenging issue of climate change on stage to inspire the next generation of creators, innovators and problem solvers – ACS Athens elementary school students.
Far from a conventional science group or drama club , this innovative initiative, which will be brought to life by ACS Athens Academy students, taps into a captivating blend of science, magic and creativity to illuminate the path towards understanding critical environmental issues through an engaging theatrical production.
By infusing science with the arts, the Curious Chemists tap into the profound power of creativity, turning the complexities of science and sustainability into a captivating journey for young minds. Through a dynamic mix of storytelling, experiments, enchanting demonstrations, and the allure of magic, the Curious Chemists look to inspire younger students to become informed about climate change and passionate stewards of our precious planet.
“Adults often categorize subjects into hard or easy, important or fun, but I prefer to change that way of thinking,” explains Spyros Arsenikos, one of effort’s main coaches and member of Science faculty of the Academy. “By intertwining science and the arts, students have the opportunity to see the magic in the world around us and learn through fun. That is the magical part of this approach.”
Curious Chemists and the upcoming production is not just about visual wonders; it’s a holistic learning experience – both for the production team and the actors, as well as the audience. The key learning objectives and highlights include:
- Scientific Principles: Unraveling the mysteries of chemical reactions, states of matter, and substance properties.
- Experimental Skills: Developing hands-on experimental skills, from precise measurement to outcome analysis.
- Safety Awareness: Instilling a crucial sense of safety when working with chemicals, from protocols to responsible behavior.
- Presentation and Communication: Mastering the art of planning, designing engaging demonstrations, and effective communication.
- Creativity and Innovation: Fostering creativity by designing chemical magic tricks and solving problems related to the show.
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Enhancing teamwork and interpersonal skills through collaborative efforts toward the magic show’s success.
- Public Speaking and Confidence: Overcoming stage fright, improving public speaking skills, and boosting self-confidence through performances.
- Appreciation for Science: Developing a deeper appreciation for science by witnessing the intriguing aspects of chemical reactions.
- Storytelling: Weaving a cohesive narrative that integrates scientific concepts, climate change themes, and engaging characters.
The magic doesn’t happen overnight. About 16 students from the Academy have been convening weekly since October, embarking on a journey of ideation, discovery, self-assurance, and experimentation leading up to the performance that will take the stage at the state-of-the-art ACS Athens Theater in May 2024.
“Curious Chemists builds on the multi-disciplinary approaches we take at the Institute of ACS Athens and brings them to a bigger, more theatrical stage,” explains Carla Tanas, Dean of the Institute of ACS Athens.
We hope that inspiring the next generation to tackle climate change at such a young age will mean that these daunting issues will abate in their time and eventually disappear – as if by a slight of hand or wave of a wand – just like magic!