For many kids, cutting up a dead frog is the most exciting part about science class. It happens between 5th and 6th grade. Unfortunately, for many of them, that’s where the fun with the subject ends and the boredom and confusion begins.
Mad Science hopes to change that.
Started in 1998, Mad Science is the Nashville franchise of The Mad Science Group, a company with a presence in every major market in the United States. The franchise provides hands-on scientific education to kids ages 4-12. Its mission: to inspire kids to enjoy learning science, and, most importantly, to let kids have fun doing it.
Instead of learning how molecules interact through Venn Diagrams and Lewis Dot Structures, Mad Science, for example, teaches kids how to make slime, then demonstrates what gives slime its gooey consistency. Physics is taught through the observation of fireworks, rather than just writing a never-ending stream of formulas on a chalkboard. Schools can even call on Mad Science to provide Van de Graaff generators (electrostatic generators that transfers an electric charge to a large hollow spherical electrode) that will make each student’s hair stand up through the power of static electricity. After the fun demonstration, the experts at Mad Science will help all the students understand the principle behind the phenomenon.
Not only does the company have a vast array of programming options specifically tailored to individual age groups, but it can be employed for anything from birthday parties to corporate events. Best of all, the kids love it.
Part owner Angie Edwards, a Nashville native and a graduate of St. Cecilia, tells the story of a group of kids at the East Branch library who had never seen worms before. Mad Science brought worms of all shapes, sizes, and lengths to East Branch. The kids got to poke and prod at the little creatures, learning about worm biology in the process. “They learned a lot more than they would if they were just looking at drawings in a classroom,” Edwards says.
The Mad Science Group is a rapidly growing network of franchises whose 122,000 annual presentations are seen by more than a million kids each year. Well over 100 franchises exist across the country, the company has firmly established itself as a leader in children’s education. Here in Nashville, Mad Science has a full-time staff of 10 experts, all of whom are committed to what Edwards calls “edutainment.”
“Parents often complain about public education and the lack of scientific equipment in area schools,” she says. “We give them the opportunity to take their children’s education into their own hands by contacting us, and we let the kids have a little fun in the process.”
For more information about Mad Science, Edwards and co-owners Keith Trehy and Vickie Pollock can be contacted at 650-0078; on the Web at www.madscience.org/nashville; or by e-mail at KTREHY@bellsouth.net.
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