Stone Mountain Middle gets in motion

Stone Mountain Middle School hosted FMA Live! on Oct. 5, an award-winning, hip-hop based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interactive concert.

DeKalb school hosts award-winning STEM-based “FMA Live!” hip-hop concert


For one hour on Oct. 5, Stone Mountain Middle School combined learning with hip-hop, dance, comedy videos and sumo wrestling.

As part of its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program, Stone Mountain Middle hosted Forces in Motion (FMA) Live!, an interactive, science-based hip-hop concert created by engineering company Honeywell and N.A.S.A.

The concert featured three actors—Curtis Grecco, Paris Fletcher and John James—who used such methods to explain the three Newtonian laws of motion: an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force; force is equal to mass multiplied by acceleration; and when one object exerts a force on another object, an equal force is exerted in return.

Grecco, Fletcher and James used choreography, a Velcro wall and sumo-wrestling teachers to show students how these laws apply to every day life. YouTube-style videos with a comedic portrayal of Isaac Newton introduced each concept with such activities as basketball and skateboarding
“With science, tech, engineering and math, you’ll be able to plot your path,” Fletcher told students.

“By the end of this show, [students] will know all three laws of motion and how to use those laws to set their futures in motion,” Grecco said.

FMA Live! actors Curtis Grecco, Paris Fletcher and John James called students and teachers to the stage to demonstrate the three Newtonian laws of physics.
“Everything is in motion. It all comes down to science—physics, to be exact,” James told students. “Where would hip-hop be without the rhythm or rock without the roll? It’s music in motion.”

The Velcro wall was used to demonstrate inertia to students, a water rocket helped students understand action and reaction, and teachers wrestling in sumo suits helped demonstrate force is determined by mass and acceleration, or that F=ma (hence, FMA Live!).

According to Honeywell, FMA Live! was created in 2004 and has been seen by approximately 455,000 students in1,150 schools nationwide.

“It is like a science magic show that entertains and teaches at the same time,” said teacher Audrey Daniel.

According to Daniel, Stone Mountain Middle was able to host FMA Live! for free due to the success of its STEM program. The entire program, including a traveling stage set, audio/video equipment and a ten person cast/crew, is fully funded by Honewell Hometown Solutions. Schools only need apply at the company’s website.

In the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, Stone Mountain Middle’s underwater robotics team was crowned regional champs in the SeaPerch competition.

In May 2015, Stone Mountain Middle became the first middle school in the state with AdvancED STEM certification.

“The STEM students at Stone Mountain Middle School develop solutions to real world problems,” Daniel said. “The Pirates of Stone Mountain Middle School are committed to developing and honing their STEM skills to become creative and innovative critical thinkers, ready to address today’s real-world challenges.”

Daniel said Stone Mountain Middle school’s sixth graders use the underwater robotics program to help preserve Georgia’s coral reefs. The school’s seventh graders are studying sustainable farming by raising tilapia and vegetables with aquaponics. Eighth graders at Stone Mountain Middle are developing the application of solar energy to cars and ovens.


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