Alexander Calder and Newton's Laws of Motion
Artist, Alexander Calder created a miniature circus in the 1920's that was based both in art and engineering. His circus (figurines made from cork, wire and wood) was tremendously popular in the art worlds of both Paris and New York. Calder's mechanical engineering degree and gigantic artistic ability are what make this marriage of physics and art so compelling.
This Project-Based Learning exploration, presented by The Circus Arts Conservatory's Education Program, integrates Science and Art in the classroom. Students are asked to choose and research a circus act. An off-campus exploration at the Sailor Circus Arena will give the students an experience on circus equipment to help better understand the concepts. Once the science of motion has been explained and understood, as well as information about the act, the students will demonstrate their knowledge of physics by creating a model of their circus act and present to the class.
For lesson review and further inquiry, a website is available for use in the classroom or on the students home computer at https://circusarts.org/community-outreach/. On the site, students will be able to look at circus acts and watch video on each of the scientific concepts discussed in each classroom lesson. There will also be a teacher link with additional lesson plans. A workbook will be provided for each student as well as a teachers edition with Standards listed for each lesson.