Report date: September, 2010
Goodman Research Group conducted this large sample treatment/control group Outcomes Evaluation on The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show, a live theater performance that uses story-telling and juggling to model and dramatize the nanoscale world: atoms, molecules, nanoscale forces, and scanning probe microscopy. The performance was developed by the Strategic Projects Group at the Museum of Science and is offered in live performances and is also part of the Talking Nano 6-DVD set. The evaluation separately analyzed three groups: children ages 6-12, adults 18 years and older, and middle school field trip teacher leaders.
KEY FINDINGS • Despite all of the virtual and digital learning media available – or maybe because of it – the drama of live performance is captivating for audiences of all ages. • By watching the show, both children and adults learned new information about nanoscience and technology. The show was also rated as highly educational by the adult audience members. Teachers found the show to correlate well with science standards and reinforce lessons from the classroom. • Sections of the show involved a combination of theatrical techniques that engrossed the audience and heightened their learning potential. • The medium of juggling as used in this context is highly successful for teaching children, teens, and adults about nanoscience –particularly about the structure, movement and manipulation of atoms. • For teens and adults already familiar with these scientific concepts, the visualizations from the performance provided excellent reinforcement and clarity for deeper understanding of these concepts.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS • Continue to explore the medium of juggling, drama, and other performance arts as teaching tools for scientific material. • The performance provides various levels of educational depth for audiences of all ages to learn something. For audiences of mostly teens and adults, adding more advanced scientific content may increase learning outcomes. • When replicating the show, maintain the fast pace and high energy of the performance for the audience’s entertainment and engagement. • Consider adjusting the opening of the show when performing for mostly teen audiences. • In addition to recall and recognition of scientific content, further research on ANB should address retention of that content over time.
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