Education Through Entertainment

Science Assemblies - It’s been a long road!

Posted on Wed, Oct 27, 2010

school assemblies,school assembly programs
Schools searching online for elementary school assembly ideas will no doubt be struck eventually by the fact that of the many companies and performers offering science assemblies and other types of educational school assembly programs, a very large number are based in Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

Why are there so many Michigan school assemblies and midwest school assembly program performers? 

school assemblies   TV
To answer that requires that we journey back in time more than fifty years, to the early Fifties. Around 1951, an enterprising performer in Chicago named Don Herbert created a new television program for kids called Mr. Wizard. The show featured simple science experiments for kids and was very successful, and ran in different forms and in different markets across the United States and Canada for many years. Mr. Wizard pioneered the idea of making science entertaining for children.

Meantime, in Michigan, a young teacher and magician named Larry Thompson was interested in science, too. michigan school assembliesHaving performed in television himself, as Mr. Whoodini opposite Bozo the Clown, Thompson created a live show to be presented in schools called The Amazing World of Light. The show began performing in 1979. It took off and was the beginning of Mobile Ed Productions. Shortly after that, and also in Michigan, a different company began to market science assemblies to schools based around the Mr. Wizard name brand. Both companies sent school assemblies into schools first in Michigan, but quickly branching out. Ohio school assemblies and Indiana school assemblies were added, and then more. For many years thereafter, Michigan was the originating state for countless school assemblies that went out to schools throughout the Midwest and eventually throughout the entire country. Thus was born the field of science school assemblies.

I do not not know if Mr. Wizard is still producing live school programs or not. But over the years Mobile Ed has continued to add new and different educational school shows. The Sky Dome Planetarium (a portable planetarium) and The Earth Dome (an inflatable earth balloon) are very popular. History programs were offered for the first time in the late eighties, with the addition of Abraham Lincoln and later Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King and others.

science school assembliesBut along the way, over all those years, two things happened. Many children in Michigan and other parts of the midwest saw science programs, and got to thinking they just might want to try doing that themselves. And many performers cycled through both Mobile Ed and Mr. Wizard’s tours. Many of them decided to strike out on their own. Salespeople and office staff and other non-creative business types came and went and some decided school assemblies might be a good way to make a fast buck and started competing, copy-cat companies. And so, Michigan and the surrounding states served as a kind of breeding ground for great school assembly program performers, and for a multitude of school assembly companies! Some have gone by the way over the years and others survive. Mobile Ed Productions continues as the foremost producer and provider of Michigan and Midwest school assemblies, and, for that matter, school assemblies nationwide.

And that, my dears, is why there are so many of them in Michigan and Ohio today!

And here endeth today’s lesson! :-)

Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where "Education Through Entertainment" has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fields of sciencehistorywritingastronomynatural sciencemathematicscharacter issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas. In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed's THE LIVING LINCOLN

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