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Arts and Education: Missoula class combines physics and theater

Posted: 10:03 AM, Mar 05, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-05 12:08:07-05
Arts and Education Physics

MISSOULA — We recently headed over to Chief Charlo Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where students were getting a unique look at a sometimes difficult subject.

When we stopped by, physics and theater were being taught to second-grade students. It’s a unique teaching style that can really help kids grasp a sometimes-difficult concept.

“Melding our physics and theater lessons, what we’re doing is helping make the physics content a little more accessible. But also help them take the concept even deeper into their bodies by using our creative problem solving,” said theater teaching artist Rosie Ayers.

Teaching like this can have great benefits for all learning styles, whether your brain is scientifically geared or not.

“So, kids that are naturally scientific find that using the theater skills help them to expand and collaborate with their classmates in a way that they usually don’t have the opportunity to do,” Ayers explained.

“And kids who don’t naturally pull into sciences really find a way to hook into the subject matter and it helps level the playing field for them,” she added. “It helps them get a step up into the information and academic side of it.”

The students were learning all about states of matter, solids, liquids, and gas. But maybe not as obvious, there are also learning lie skills they can take with them well beyond the classroom.

“But really what the kids are learning is not only ways to collaborate, but creative problem solving which is one of the most necessary things today,” Ayers said.

“In learning those two things it teaches them social-emotional skills and helps them to be in the right platform to even learn every day and gain new information so they can continue to progress and advance,” she concluded.