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Hip-Hop Fridays: Hip-hop Group Drops Knowledge Like It's Hot by Linh Tat

The law of inertia. Force equals mass times acceleration. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
You may recognize this as Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion. But could you really explain the laws?

The kids at Barnard-White Middle School in Union City can.

Members of a traveling hip-hop troupe called FMA Live! sang, danced and talked their way through a

45-minute lesson on Newton's laws during three assemblies for the middle-school students Tuesday at Conley-Caraballo High School in Hayward.

Along the way, they aired video clips and brought students, teachers and administrators on stage to demonstrate how Newton's laws work. Students hung from a Velcro wall, raced each other in drag cars, or competed in "extreme wrestling" while staff members had their faces pressed into cream pies to the delight of those sitting in the audience.

"A show like this pumps students up and makes kids see that science is fun, science is cool, so they can get excited about it," actress Candi Hall said.

With catchy lyrics, coordinated dance moves and flashy stage lights, those involved in the show managed to capture students' attention.

Many students said after the show that this was one of the more entertaining school assemblies they had attended, even if the topic was science.Eighth-grader Anthony Lozano, 14, said he had studied Newton's laws before but never could master the concepts.

"In class, I didn't really

understand it, and today, it made sense," he said, adding that he is a visual learner.
FMA Live! named after Newton's law that force equals mass times acceleration (F = MxA) was created in 2003 through a partnership between NASA and the Honeywell manufacturing company to generate interest in the sciences among youths.

The FMA cast has performed before some 116,000 students at nearly 300 schools in 34 states.

Calling the show a "different way of teaching" science,

Hall was quick to add that she does not view it as a substitute for more traditional classroom teaching.
"I definitely don't see this as a substitution for what teachers are doing just a supplement," she said. "This is a good way to reiterate what teachers have already been teaching."

Linh Tat covers education for The Argus. She can be reached at This article appears in The Argus.

Linh Tat

Friday, March 16, 2007

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