Committed to creating a scientific and technological workforce, the Physics Circus addresses this two-pronged challenge by pairing research scientists from the fields of physics and education in order to create powerful learning experiences grounded in physics and utilizing best practices in education.
This initiative provides quality professional development, models effective teaching methods, provides quality curriculum modules and teaching kits containing classroom sets of equipment and supplies, and engages students in advanced science and mathematics concepts through a live theatrical performance, interactive and hands-on demonstrations of scientific relevance in what is referred to as the Fun House, as well as solidifying learning by reviewing the newly acquired knowledge during the Game Show by using electronic responding devices.
The CASPER Physics Circus was created during the 2000-2001 school year and was funded by the GEAR UP Waco grant. GEAR UP Waco (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is one of 185 grants awarded nationwide by the U. S. Department of Education in 1999 to help 200,000 disadvantaged children prepare for and gain a pathway to undergraduate programs. GEAR UP Waco partners include Baylor University, the City of Waco, the Waco Independent School District, LaVega Independent School District, Communities in Schools and Texas State Technical College Waco.