A Princess learns to think like a scientist at Kutztown Community Library's Fizz, Boom, Read summer reading program

Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell The Yocum Institute Teen Theater Ensemble performs "How to think like a scientist" at Kutztown Community Library June 26. Later, participants conducted their own magnetic experiments.
Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Participants conducted their own magnetic experiments.

A Princess learned to think like a scientist with the help of a frog at the Kutztown Community Library.

The Yocum Institute for the Arts Education Teen Theater Ensemble performed “How to think like a Scientist” June 26 at for the “Fizz, Boom, Read” summer reading program.

“I loved the program,” said Joy Newswanger, Youth Librarian at the Kutztown Community Library. “I loved that Kutztown provided a great audience of children and adults to learn while being entertained.”

During the play, a Princess meets a talking, thinking frog and learns that she can think like a scientist.

“I thought the story drama was engaging on many levels so the children were entertained while learning about the basics of science: observation, questions, hypothesis, experiments to test. These are principles we use in our everyday life,” said Newswanger.

Morgan Kauffman, 19, Schuylkill Valley, portrayed the Princess. Sigmund Frog was portrayed by Dakota Kolbe, 16, Shoemakersville, and the Queen was portrayed by Julia Crozier-Christy, 18, Wyomissing.

“The actors were great. The science was valid. It made science fun and “dramatic”. Even a “queen”, “princess” and frog can think like a scientist,” said Newswanger.

During the play, the Princess shouts, “I’m a princess. I can’t wear a lab coat and goggles,” then quietly admits, “I can’t do math.”

“Of course, you can do math. The more you practice, the better you become,” said the Frog. “Did you catch a ball the first time you threw it? No, you got better with practice. Math is the same.”

Arguing that there’s more to being a princess than living in a castle and wearing dresses, the Frog said there’s more to be a scientist than the lab coat and goggles. “Of course, you can be both.”

The Frog explained that being a scientist is about observing, questioning, hypothesizing and experimenting.

“I can be both. I can be a princess and think like a scientist,” the Princess told her mother, The Queen.

“It means she’s curious, she’s exploring, she’s examining,” said The Frog.

After experiments with determining which balls were the most fun, the play concluded with the Queen crowning the Princess, “When she grew up, she became the Queen and a scientist. After all, she could be both.”

The play included the use of a magnet to retrieve a ball at the bottom of a well and later the audience conducted their own magnetic experiments, testing how different materials respond to a magnetic field.

“The children and adults learned about magnetism in a hands-on way at the program end,” said Newswanger. “This was an unexpected and great bonus for me. I thought this was just going to be a play about ideas. The experiments reinforced the drama with a hands-on activity that was fun education.”

The next Fizz, Boom, Read program at Kutztown Community Library is July 10, Mad Science! Acids and Bases, making baking soda rockets. Limited to 25. Registration required.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.