bethune-girl.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — It wasn't their grandparents' science lessons when 1,700 students learned about the environment with rockin’ eco hero “Steve Trash” at Parker Playhouse, and 110 second grade students from Bethune Elementary honed their math and science skills through stagecraft at the annual Math and Science Day at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

During Math and Science Day, students enjoyed hands-on lessons in light, color, perspective and counterbalance from stage technicians on the stage of the Amaturo Theater before developing measurement and fractions skills in a cooking class with Chef Shari in the Broward Center’s kitchen. Outside in Esplanade Park, students learned about weather following activities in a detailed study guide and workbook.  

The Broward Center educational programs which use the arts to strengthen classroom lessons were made possible by a sponsorship from Florida Power & Light Company. 

“FPL has brought new energy to the Broward Center’s educational programs helping us to build on our unique math and science-based initiatives,” said Broward Center President and CEO Kelley Shanley.  “Working with curriculum specialists at the schools, our goal is to use the theater setting as a place to expose young learners to math and science concepts in ways that are familiar and approachable.

For example, using the stage lights to cast shadows, our theater technicians help students learn about physics concepts in a way that is easy to understand and to retain.” 

Featuring the winner of the 2011 Best Environmental Education Program award from the Environmental Education Association of Alabama, the Parker Playhouse performance by “Steve Trash” supported the science, math, music and theater curricula while teaching students how to reduce, reuse and recycle in a memorable way.

“We are always looking for innovative and exciting ways to engage students of all ages, from elementary school to college, in the sciences and educate them about taking care of the environment,” said Juliet Roulhac, FPL regional external affairs manager for FPL. “The Broward Center for the Performing Arts has established itself as a leading arts-in-education provider in South Florida and we are pleased to support learning through the arts.”

The Broward Center’s nationally award-winning education programming has been recognized by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance for outstanding contributions to education in the community. 

Each performance covers themes that reinforce classroom learning and directly connect with core curriculum through literature-based shows, science and math-related productions, dramatizations of historical events and immersion into the music, dance and traditions of different cultures.   

Photo courtesy of The Broward Center