Students at one Manhattan middle school put away their calculators and pencils for some math and science lessons. Instead, they're encouraged to get out of their seats and get moving. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed this report.
Using the movement of their bodies, Students at M.S. 188 are getting unique lessons in math and science, thanks to some professional dancers, the Koresh Dance Company.
"We're movement engineers. We're sound engineers. We're all of that. It's an amazing project we get to bring that little bit to students as well," says Outreach Coordinator Shannon Bramham.
The project started two years ago by staff members at Pace University's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and is funded by the Time Warner Cable Community Investment Team. The aim is to get younger students excited about science, technology, engineering and math or STEAM—through the arts.
"It's about making those connections in kids heads, you know—'I can do this. I love dance. I love music.' Music is a very approachable way for kids to understand math is just another language, another sequence," says Jonathan Hill, Associate Dean at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
At this workshop, the youngsters learned a short dance routine that teachers hope will also show them the fundamentals of STEAM—like geometry.
"With the angles you have to learn how much you have to lean to the left or the right because if you lean too much, you mess up the dance," says student Keyanna Matos.
Organizers say programs like this help kids face their fear of math and science.
"Choreography is an alogorithm and kids love to dance. They love the visual. It gets them excited. It makes math, science, computers, computer science more friendly, more approachable," Hill says.
"Usually I'm like, ugh, I'm probably just going to use this for work and stuff, but I never knew I could use it for dance so I can apply what I learned from school into my dance moves and make it look even better," says Matos. "It inspires me to be a better student and dancer."
Students say they plan on sharing their lessons with their friends so next time it won't be so hard to.