Remote Indigenous school combines science and theatre in livestreamed performance

Written by Louise

November 1, 2023

On Friday 10 September fans around Australia tuned into the Cape York Aboriginal Australia Academy’s original theatre show called
E = mc² – The Musical.

The musical is a homage to the legendary scientists who contributed to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of past three centuries leading up to Einstein’s breakthrough E = mc².

A cast of indigenous students, teachers and parents play the parts of Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Emile du Chatelet, Antoine and Marie-Anne Lavoisier, Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn.

The four main characters use a time machine to travel to meet these famous scientists at various points in their lives.

The performance includes hip-hop, choral music and pop and includes a song sung in the local Guugu Yimithirr indigenous language.

The 70-minute musical is being performed for one night only at 6:30 pm, Friday, 10 September under the stars in the spectacular outdoor amphitheatre.

E = mc² – The Musical will be live-streamed online at [UPDATE LINK]

Afterward it can be viewed on Good to Great Schools Australia’s YouTube:

E = mc² – The Musical is a part of the Oz-e-science curriculum developed by education experts at Good to Great Schools Australia.

E = mc² – The Musical is part of the way schools engage with families in the science their children are learning in school.

The whole school from Prep to Grade 6 are in the performance.

Local teacher Tamara Gibson, who plays Emilie du Chatelet, said the musical helps give students another understanding of science.

“It’s exciting how the curriculum gets parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties and other extended members of the family involved in education, particularly science,” said Ms Gibson.

“It gives students an understanding how the world evolves around us. It’s the world’s most famous equation, E=Mc2, but what does it really mean? It means Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared,” said Ms Gibson.

Good to Great Schools Australia Director of Arts Chris Kohn said that underlying the fun is a serious message about the importance of science education for all Australian children.

“Using musical theatre and family engagement as a platform for science education and learning about scientific discovery is an enriching experience for the students,” said Mr Kohn.

“Everyone in Hope Vale community has worked very hard to put on this unique and exciting event,” continued Mr Kohn.

Good to Great Schools Australia founder and co-chair Noel Pearson said the decline in science education and particularly for Indigenous students is an issue of national concern.

“The OECD’s PISA tests show a continuing decline in Australian students’ science results. There is a large gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in science. There is also a significant gap between boys and girls. Science education is an issue of national concern,” said Mr Pearson.

“Good to Great Schools Australia is reorienting thinking about science education,” said Mr Pearson.

“Science belongs to every Australian child – the work of Albert Einstein, Emile du Chatelet and Lise Meitner belongs to us all,” continued Mr Pearson.

Oz-e-science balances teacher-directed instruction, inquiry learning. Lessons utilise rapid reviews to consolidate content, monitoring to check for understanding, and regular progress tests.

It teaches scientific inquiry skills through investigations, experiments, and frequent engagement with the local environment. It incorporates activities like theatre and field trips ad meets all the science requirements of the Australian Curriculum.

“Oz-e-science stimulates the natural curiosity of students and students fall in love with knowledge, gain a sense of wonder about the universe and understand the potential of scientific endeavour as science becomes part of their life’s journey,” said Mr Pearson.

Good to Great Schools Australia has limited places available for fully funded implementation of our Oz-e-science curriculum. Get in touch [UPDATE LINK] today to find out if your school is eligible.

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