We just came back from a trip to the Grand Canyon, which I’ll blog about later.  We flew in and out of Las Vegas, and took advantage of our free day in Sin City to see the show Le Rève at the Wynn.

While not a Cirque du Soleil production, this Cirque-esque show involves a fantastically engineered set that allows the performers to alternately walk on a stage and, seconds later, dive into a pool from 85 feet in the air.   My husband has been very curious about the mechanics of the stage operation ever since.  The girls heard us talking about it and wanted to know why it was such a big deal.

The center of the round stage is over a huge lift mechanism and can go about 20+ feet into the air.  It must also submerge at least that far, if not further, to accomodate people diving into the center.   So where does all that water come from?  And where does it go when the stage is lowered?

To demonstrate, we got a bowl of water and a can of tomato paste.  I had the girls mark the level of the water with a dry erase marker, then slowly lowered the can down into the bowl.  They saw the water level rise and marked the level there, too.  We talked about how the water is “displaced” – or pushed aside – by the space that the can takes up.  O5 said it was because the can was heavy.  I happened to have an empty plastic pill bottle about the same diameter as the tomato paste can, so we pushed that into the water and saw that the water level rose nearly the same amount.   This is such a simple concept when you have the opportunity to see it in action, but a firm grasp of the concept of volume is essential to so many things.

We’re still reading about the theater, though.  It’s almost as incredible as the show itself.




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