The Scientific Mime, or, What’s Up With Gravity?

The Scientific Mime, or, What’s Up With Gravity?

Physical Science contains abstract words and invisible forces that are hard for young people to grasp. But once they’ve seen a mime struggling against gravity, pushes, pulls, and other forces, they become real. The show begins with a lecture-demonstration about mime stories that connects them to written stories, followed by a gravity-defying mime piece, and a discussion of gravity and force illustrated by juggling. Then the Scientific Mime demonstrates various forces-and-motion concepts, invites the audience to read aloud signs that explain the concepts, and teaches the audience sound-and-movement gestures for key vocabulary. Students see, say, do, hear, and enjoy. The Scientific Mime is both skilled and silly, and belly laughs comprise part of the pedagogy. Research shows that memory is strengthened when emotions are tied to learning. “I want to remember these movements so when I teach the Forces & Motion unit, I can use them!” said a 5th grade Science teacher at Grier Academy, Charlotte. For Grades 3-5, the show connects to: English, Theatre, and Science standards. Students will understand and remember forces and motion like never before.

Use this link to view a video excerpt from this program:

Artist Background

Sheila Kerrigan has performed and taught in schools and communities in 22 states. She co-directed and performed with TOUCH Mime Theater for 17 years, and directed and performed with Jelly Educational Theater for 4. She wrote “The Performer’s Guide to the Collaborative Process.” She served with Alternate ROOTS’ Resources for Social Change and taught “Community-Based Performance, Where Art and Activism Intersect” at Duke. She works with youth-at-risk to create original performances about issues important to them. A former Fellow with the A+ Schools Program and current president of the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, she teaches arts integration theory & practice to teachers. She has studied teaching artistry with The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and at Trinity College, Dublin.

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