Robotics students Johnathan Smith and Will Sander stand with a STEAM-inspired prop that Fort Mill Middle School’s musical theater class and the Gateway to Technology robotics club created for the school’s upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” Contributed photo
Robotics students Johnathan Smith and Will Sander stand with a STEAM-inspired prop that Fort Mill Middle School’s musical theater class and the Gateway to Technology robotics club created for the school’s upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” Contributed photo

Education

Fort Mill robotics, theater students combine art, science with prop for upcoming show

By Amanda Harris

aharris@heraldonline.com

December 03, 2017 11:50 AM

FORT MILL

Fort Mill students have combined science and technology with art on the stage.

Fort Mill Middle School’s musical theater class and the Gateway to Technology robotics club have worked together to create a show prop inspired by STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

The prop will be used in the school’s Dec. 15 production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.,” according to the Fort Mill school district.

The students spent weeks designing and creating the prop as a way to get the audience’s attention during one of the show’s opening scenes. The creation, which has working motors, a light and a smoke machine, will represent the character Maurice’s invention.

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“We knew this special prop would better come to life if designed by students,” said Claudia Snowber-Marini, one of the show’s co-directors. “Immediately we recognized a natural integration for our district’s STEAM initiative by having students design and construct the prop needed within Beauty and The Beast.”

Students used VEX robotics kits to construct the prop, a release states.

“This collaboration has been much more than putting STEAM into action, it has shown our musical theatre students how technology can enhance your characterization and exemplified for robotics club students how critical engineering is in the design and production of theatre,” Snowber-Marini said.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082

Want to go?

What: Fort Mill Middle School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.”

When: 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 15

Where: Fort Mill Middle School gym, 200 Springfield Pkwy