Science show entertains, teaches kids

March 26, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

see the enlargement by clicking on the image

Science Show

WILLIAMSPORT - When Garry Krinsky asked an auditorium full of Williamsport Elementary School students to name the inventor of scissors, he got a surprise answer.

He prompted them with "Leonardo..." and some students shouted back, "DiCaprio."

Nope. At age 23, the popular "Titanic" heartthrob is way too young to take that credit.

Try Leonardo da Vinci.

Krinsky's performance Wednesday morning invited such nonsense from the 450 students who saw his traveling show "Toying With Science!" at Springfield Middle School.


The outrageous, funny science act called "Toying With Science!" also invited a lot of learning.

Krinsky, who has performed at the Kennedy Center and on NBC's "Today" show, set the tone for the hour-long show by balancing his black top hat on his nose.

Then he delighted his young audience by balancing one stepladder, then two stepladders, on his chin while he did the Macarena.

Students joined in on the dance.

From the beginning, Krinsky had the attention of the students.

He charmed them by acting as if screwing on his hat lowered his frame. While he was bent to a student's eye level, he shook hands.

Krinsky's lessons were about gravity and leverage.

He showed them that a scarf falls to the ground more slowly than a grapefruit because of air resistance.

Science ShowThat's the same principle that makes it easier to balance a feather than a 17-foot pole, he demonstrated.

Krinsky brought fifth-grader Kimberly Koontz up on stage to try balancing a peacock feather.

He showed how it's harder to balance a pencil than a long pole, which falls over more slowly.

The students seemed mesmerized by his juggling.

He taught them the principles of the trick and told them that all it takes with anything in life is to learn the basics and practice, practice, practice.

Then Krinsky became "Fulcrum Man" to show the youngsters how leverage is used in everything from playing golf to birds flying.

For his grand finale, Krinsky balanced on his chin four ladders stacked 11 feet high and weighing 50 pounds.

Krinsky, 42, of Greenfield, Mass., has been performing for 20 years.

The program was paid for by the Williamsport Elementary Parent-Teacher Association and the Maryland Fine Arts Council, said Principal Ray Barrett.

When the students joked about Leonardo DiCaprio, they didn't realize there really is a connection between the two Leonardos.

According to People magazine, DiCaprio's German-born mother, Irmeliln, named her son after da Vinci because, while pregnant, she received a hearty kick while looking at one of the artist's famous paintings.

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