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Physics, the Musical

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Monday, June 24, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 41

María José Rodríguez González   Aileen Freyssinier   Nicandro Díaz Butrón   Sebastián Zamora Castelazo   José Pablo Tovar González   José María Torres Escalera   Ricardo Polo Majay   Ana Vignon   Sebastián Vazquez Gomez   Verónica López Hoyo   ANA LUISA FERNANDEZ   Roberta Madrazo  
Discover how students can bond arts and science by reenacting a Broadway production. See how they can demonstrate the direct relationship between performing arts and physics, such as music and acoustics, dance and kinematics, and lights and optics.

Audience: Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Science, Performing/visual arts
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Students wanted to show how physics is present in all aspects of their every day life. They thought that most people still have trouble relating arts and science so if they could demonstrate how physics is a key element for the success of a musical production, this would leave no room for skepticals.
Students assembled a scale scenery and mounted a musical production. They managed to do the backstage and theatrical aparatus mobility by using differnet digital tools and resources. They had to dig in each branch of physics to cover each fundamental part of a montage. At the same time, they discovered all the details that are involved when a musical is assembled, from scenery and music to wardrobe. Going step by step the got empowered by enhancing their creativity skills to relate arts and physics, using concepts that in the classroom they usually found difficult to relate with or complicated.
As in any musical they had to curate among different options to get the desired outcome. They used from actual mechanical simple machines to robotics elements, from simple colors to difraction of light, etc.
They were innovative designers, not only in the use and combination of artistic elements, but also in the use of different technological and digital resources, and mostly in the way they combined arts and science.
Needless to say they became global colaborators and communicators, there is no better global communicator than art and there is no way that the show keeps on going without physics and team colaboration.
During the poster session the audince will become the stage director interacting with the scenery as they learn the importance of physics in all aspects of life even arts.

Supporting research

Benade, A. H. (1990). Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics. Mineola: Dover Books on Music.
Race, R. (2014). Making Simple Automata. Wiltshire: Crowood Press.
Roberts, D. (2010). Making Things Move DIT Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Vogel, F. B. (2007). The Commercial Theater Institute Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals. New York: The Commercial Theater Institute.
Weiss, M., & Gaffney, P. (2017). The Business of Broadway: An Insider´s Guide to Working, Producing and Investing in the World´s Greatest Theater Community. New York: Allworth Press.
White, H. E. (2014). Physics and Musics: The Science of Musical Sound. Mineola: Dover Books on Music.

More [+]


Ana Vignon, Highlands International School México
Sebastián Vazquez Gomez, Highlands International School
Verónica López Hoyo, Highlands International School México
ANA LUISA FERNANDEZ, Highlands International School
Roberta Madrazo, Highlands International School

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