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Wednesday, 06 July 2011 16:23

Enjoying an ‘edu-taining’ experience

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By Chris Jaster
Did you know a can of regular Coke will sink in a tub of water while a can of Diet Coke will float?
Basic scientific principles such as buoyancy, density, gravity and air pressure were on display at Frontier Days in an attempt to educate children and adults alike courtesy of Freddy Fusion.

“This is a mix of education and entertainment. The big buzz word for that is edu-tainment,” said Fusion, whose science and illusion shows were performed at Frontier Days. “It’s teaching kids in a unique form of learning where they’re not bored in a classroom and we’re making it fun for them.”

Fusion was inspired to educate children in a different manner he was travelling around and visiting a number of fairs, but quickly realized fairs offered a lot of entertainment, but little education. Using his background as a touring theatre, Fusion designed a program he believes teaches children the basics of science and gives them a hands-on learning experience they wouldn’t receive in the classroom.

All the information in Fusion’s science show is curriculum-based and should teach students up to Grade 8 something new, and even a few parents too.

“You’ll sit there and it’s almost like watching Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” said Fusion. “Adults will sit there and go ‘I didn’t know that.’ It’s an all-ages learning experience.”

Fusion, who floated random members of the audience during each of his illusion shows, admits his shows would be nothing without his hosts.

Since he can’t do five different shows, some of which may be in various communities, at the same time, he finds people with entertainment experience to bring a high level of energy on stage.

Fusion looks all over the place for his hosts, including people who worked for companies such as Disney. The most important thing for his hosts are to connect with the audience so the children learn without realizing it.

That seemed to work well in Swift Current. The children who attended the show put on between the Stockade and Palliser Pavilion were enthralled with the hosts who blew air under a ball to show the power of air pressure and gravity and used optical illusions to make it appear as if their heads were shrinking.

“Swift Current is great,” said Fusion. “This is my first time here and it has just been a total blast. It’s fantastic.”

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