Last week a good friend asked me to come help her shoot some video for a local project. The group was raising money for a technology fund at a local elementary school. When my friend told me it was a circus I only half believed her. I thought that perhaps some teachers at the school had put together a little show and that was that... I was quite wonderfully mistaken.
This was no ordinary circus, no it most certainly was not. This was a science circus. And this was not just some teacher putting on a little show (although there were some very talented teachers in the show), these were professionals, well at least they looked like it!
Act after act they wowed, they laughed, and they juggled the principals of physical science into the hearts of every audience member.
From shared balance points...
... to centripetal force...
... to angular momentum...
... and everything in between, the members of the Visindi Circus did not disappoint.
What was even better than the show, was the heart behind it. The idea for the circus came from elementary school teacher Cassie Drew and student teacher Ian Caldwell. They saw a need in their school and came up with one amazing way to fulfill it. Together with the local circus community, many of which are actual scientists, they put together Visindi (icelandic for science) Circus.
I got a sneak peak of the performance at the dress rehearsal, and even then, without the crowd I could tell something magical was about to happen. The next evening as children, parents, and friends filled the auditorium and then as the performance began, that same magic was everywhere and it was infectious! The cast gave it their all, the children's faces lit up with delight, and principals of science took on a whole new meaning for everyone in attendance.
With any luck this is just the beginning for the Visindi Circus, the group hopes to turn this project into a non-profit so that children all over the country can fall in love with science one amazing circus act at a time.
P.S. Don't forget to enter to win a copy of the delightful story Where Do They Go When it Rains?
*Last time in Nature: Goodnight Moon