Centuries ago, an apple falling from a tree famously inspired Sir Isaac Newton to formulate the three laws of motion to explain how the world works. Wednesday, a gallon of applesauce pouring over the head of Avalon Middle School principal David Sigurnjak may have inspired future physicists. Students at Avalon Middle School and Sims Middle School experienced a break from class in the form of a 45 minute music, dance, and demonstration show, a joint effort of Honeywell and NASA, called FMA Live. The initials, FMA, stand for Sir Isaac Newton's second law of motion, stating force equals mass multiplied by acceleration. Three performers, Erick Nathan, John James, and Sharmaine Tate sang and danced through the show, hosted by FMA producer Ron Hemke, explaining Newton's three laws of motion. At the beginning of the show, James asked the middle school students if they were excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Most said, "No," but a few hands rose from the group. James said, "If you didn't come to school excited, you will be."
In a video on a screen to the left of the stage, an actor portraying Newton asked passers-by on the street about the laws of motion and explained how they apply between segments of music and demonstrations.
The demonstrations got the students and staff involved. One student demonstrated Newton's second law of motion applying force to increasingly large soccer balls until she and Nathan together were unable to score a goal with a ball taller than either of them. Teachers David Bohannon and Wayne Hagler compared opposing forces in a sumo wrestling match wearing fat suits and safety gear. Hagler, the physical education teacher, won lifting Bohannon into the air in a body slam. The final demonstration combined all three laws of motion according to the performers. Teams consisting of all the volunteers took turns firing balls with standing slingshots at targets designed to dump a container of applesauce over Principal Sigurnjak sitting beneath. At the end of the performance, Nathan, Tate, and James recapped the three laws of motion and encouraged students to excel in their education.