Dive in and Discover: Under the Big Top

You may have at some point in our childhood, dreamed of escaping into the different and more exciting world of the circus, with the grandeur of the large tents, the delicious treats, and the death-defying tricks. Our “Under the Big Top” group, during Dive in and Discover week, is jumping outside of their comfort zones and do just that (minus the running away part)! Students leap into the carnival/circus world, performing, designing rides, building games, and making carnival treats. While students have fun, they are also utilizing the lessons from their daily curriculum to this real-world setting.

We all know the lure of the games at a carnival, the promise of that large prize that feels within our reach but beyond our grasp. To design these tricky games, students will use probability to ensure games are difficult but not impossible. Students will analyze games of luck vs games of skill to surmise what makes a game fun to play. To design and build rides that are both exciting and safe, students will be considering potential vs kinetic energy as well as the role gravity plays during a ride.

Once the stage is set students will then step into the shoes of the performers, leaving campus to attend trapeze school to learn carnival tricks such as juggling, tight-wire, and tumbling. They will even attempt the “death-defying” trick of hanging by their knees to attempt a backflip from a trapeze 25 feet off the ground into a net. Students will learn to support one another as they take these risks and try new things. Many students attempting these tricks will experience failure, but the process of failing and trying again is part of the growth-mindset that has already been fostered within them at Keys. Trapeze school will be a unique opportunity for students to employ familiar skills learned in PE, such as balance, flexibility, muscular strength, body management, and locomotor movement.

Finally, what carnival or circus is complete without those delicious treats we love to indulge in? But what makes a popcorn pop? How is rock candy formed? Student, in order to create these treats, will learn about crystallization, states of matter, and the physical and chemical changes of ingredients as they transform into yummy treats. At last, the treats are made, the stage is set, and the performers are ready! Our “Under the Big Top” group will delight and amaze their lower school peers with their final performance and, we hope, students will walk away with a new appreciation of the science and art behind creating a circus.

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