Creative Arts and Sciences (CASC)

Since 1960, each Newton Public School PTO has had a Creative Arts & Sciences Committee – CASC, that sponsors visiting programs to enhance students’ education.

Presenters typically include award-winning authors, accomplished musicians, artists, scientists, Museum of Science, etc. Programs can be an adjunct to art, English, library, mathematics, music, physical education, science, or social studies curricula.

Bigelow’s Creative Arts & Sciences Committee brings several programs to the school each year.  Many of them are teacher favorites that are requested every year, others are new and different. To learn more about the CASC program, visit the NPS website or view this CASC poster.

CASC programs, funded solely by the PTO, are made possible through PTO fundraising. Thank you for you support!

The following programs are being offered at Bigelow in the 2018-2019 school year:

October 25 – 8th grade: Theatre Espresso: “Uprising on King Street: The Boston Massacre”

Theatre is used to teach students critical thinking skills. They believe that student participation is the key to intellectual engagement with history and the concept of justice. In “The Boston Massacre” students play the role of the jury in the trial of British Captain Preston, who was in command on the night when five soldiers clashed with citizens in front of the Customs house. Students watch a reenactment of the events leading up to the Boston Massacre, and then attend the trial, with John Adams as the defense council. Students weigh the conflicting testimony they hear, and then debate whether Preston is innocent or guilty before rendering their verdict.

October 30 – All grades: MassLEAP – “Louder than a Bomb” 

MassLEAP’s Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is a mock poetry slam consisting of original works performed by their authors. Without the use of props, costumes, or musical accompaniment, six poets will engage students with original spoken word performances in a competitive format. Five student judges will score each piece from zero to ten. LTAB combines friendly competition with a grounded, contemporary, populist approach to poetry.

MassLEAP encourages students to surmount cultural and socio-economic differences, and to take part in an experience where young writers learn about themselves, while listening to the words of their peers. To learn more about The Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance Collective (MassLEAP), visit their website at

See Flyer

January 23 – 7th grade: Tanglewood Marionettes: “Perseus and Medusa”

Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theatre, with highly skilled puppeteers and they feature hand-made marionettes. In this performance students take a trip back in time to the ancient world of Greek mythology. Students will follow Perseus through personal trials and glorious quests.

February 8 – 6th grade: Author Greg Mone

Gregory Mone, science journalist and the author of several published novels, will visit the 6th grade students. He will tell the students the history of the universe from the big bang to humans. “Seriously. This isn’t about writing or revising or anything like that. Just the universe. It’s based on magazine stories and books I’ve written or co-written over the years and interviews with more than fifty scientists.” The talk is roughly 40 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. 

Greg Mone. 02/08/2019.

March 4 – 8th grade: Shakespeare Now! Power Play

A constantly recurring theme in Shakespeare’s plays is the use and abuse of power by those who wield it, which poses questions for all time. What are the consequences of power plays? What happens to the powerful? How do individuals and communities respond? Shakespeare Now! offers a gripping one-hour performance, complete with stage combat, followed by a discussion with students that examines questions, and answers, arising from the use and abuse of power, be it royal, democratic, or familial, from ancient Rome until today.

April 25, 26 – 6th grade: Starlab: Night Skies

The Starlab is an inflatable, vinyl structure that has a 10.5-foot high dome that the night sky is projected upon. Inside the Starlab students are guided through a tour of the current night sky with a focus on the planets and constellations. The identification of constellations are necessary to locate stars, the milky way and planets in the night sky. A laser-light is used to point out the planets, stars and constellations that are visible to the naked eye. 

May 13 – 8th grade: New Rep: Midsummer Night’s Dream

Follow four young Athenian lovers and six Rude Mechanicals into Oberon’s enchanted woods in which all things, even the impossible, are possible. Shakespeare’s glorious comedy is filled with mischief, magic, and mix-ups! How does it all resolve?
Shakespeare Now! is a professional theater company which brings exciting, live performances of the playwright’s great works to elementary, middle, and high schools in southeastern New England. The Company also leads interactive student workshops in kinesthetic experiences with the richly meaningful language of Shakespeare.

May 30, 31 – 7th grade:  New England Aquarium: “Engineering and Erosion” 

The New England Aquarium new Coastal Engineering Outreach Program challenges students to address the issues of local coastal erosion through the engineering design process, with an emphasis on communication and collaboration. Students work as teams employing engineering design to plan, test, and present their solutions to limit the erosion of sand from their own section of simulated sandy coastline.

The following programs happened in 2017-2018:

  • All Grades: New England Percussion Ensemble
  • 6th Grade: Author Greg Mone
  • 6th and 7th Grades: Gabriel Bol Deng’s “The Power of Hope: To Move A Mountain”
  • 7th Grade: Tanglewood Marionettes – “Perseus and Medusa”
  • 8th Grade: Theatre Expresso: “Uprising on King Street: The Boston Massacre”
  • 8th grade: Shakespeare Now! “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”