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Hip-Hop Science Show Kicks Off

Hip-Hop Science Show Kicks Off
Second Tour at Howard Univ. Middle School

FMA Live!, a traveling hip-hop science education show, passed the milestone of reaching 100,000 students when it kicked off its fall tour at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. The award-winning concert program opened last month and will visit 30 schools in 21 cities over nine weeks. The tour is expected to reach 14,000 students this fall.

Launched in 2004, FMA Live! is named for the second law of motion (force = mass X acceleration) formulated by Sir Isaac Newton. The FMA Live! performances use professional actors and singers, original music, music videos and interactive science demonstrations to teach middle school students Newton’s three laws of motion and the universal law of gravity. Established by NASA and Honeywell Corp., the show to date has covered 34 states and reached students in 232 schools. Approximately 1,500 students from District of Columbia Public Schools participated in four FMA Live! performances hosted by Howard University.

“The need for more minority scholars in science and mathematics has been a longstanding challenge for us and certainly one of the biggest reasons behind our decision to establish a middle school here at Howard,” says university president H. Patrick Swygert. “This collaboration with Honeywell to host FMA Live! and to expose D.C. area middle school students to the wonders of science, mathematics and technology is another step in the right direction.”

Research has shown that declining numbers of U.S. students are pursuing science, math and engineering careers, while job opportunities in these fields are predicted to increase three times faster than in all other occupations. FMA Live! was developed to boost student interest and participation in the sciences. At each show, students, teachers and school administrators interact with three professional actors on stage to teach the audience Newton’s laws first hand. A large Velcro wall helps the actors show inertia; they drive go-carts to illustrate action and reaction; and wrestling displays and a huge soccer ball help bring Newton’s second law to life. Later, all three laws are demonstrated at once as the actors crash a futuristic hover chair with an enormous cream pie.

“FMA Live! continues to inspire students to pursue technology-related careers. Honeywell is committed to providing students and teachers with programs, experiences and resources that bring science to life in memorable, life-changing ways,” says Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s community outreach arm.

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