Garret Rhea is mad about science, and if his latest venture takes off, kids will be, too.
The artist, musician and aspiring children’s author hopes to soon release his first book, titled “The Story of Circle and Square.” It’s a story that “inspires friendship and understanding, as well as a scientific view of the universe.”
“My hope is that, when children read ‘The Story of Circle and Square,’ they will see that everyone comes from the same place, that we’re made of the same stuff, and that our differences need not keep us from being friends,” the 26-year-old said. “And, it’d be great if they learned about atoms, too.”
Rhea grew up in Naperville and graduated from Naperville North High School in 2006. For the past five years, he has been sharing his passion with students as a “Mad Scientist.”
“I have been teaching science to elementary school children through a company called Mad Science,” he said. “It is extremely rewarding, especially the full-school assemblies where they pile all the students into the gym and I get to stand on stage and teach to 500 kids at once.”
Mad Science is a national company that brings hands-on science experiences to children in an educational and entertaining way. For Rhea, it’s an opportunity to do what he loves.
“I teach science because I have found that sharing is my favorite thing to do,” Rhea said. “Because science is the human attempt at understanding this place (in which) we exist, the universe, it is the most stimulating for me to learn and teach.”
Along with teaching, Rhea has been an artist for almost a decade.
“I have been creating art for nine years in an attempt to make the world a better place,” he said. “I began writing science poems and compiling them; I spent three years painting and attempting to convey my message through the visual medium; then I picked up a guitar and began what has become a five-year musical journey.”
Fellow artist and friend Ross Anderson said Rhea’s “high energy is infectious,” and “it’s really incredible to see and inspiring to be near.”
“As far as pure creative energy, I’ve never met anyone like him,” said Anderson, of Chicago. “He’s like the Energizer bunny; he keeps going and going and going. (But) what makes Garret unique and sets him apart from most artists is that his vast energy is coupled with a razor-sharp focus.”
With Rhea’s latest focus “The Story of Circle and Square,” he is hosting a Kickstarter launch party Saturday, Feb. 15, at Bono’s in Lisle. His band, Funks Capacitor, will perform.
“The launch party is going to be full of great music and great people with lots of love to give,” Rhea said. “We will be screening both the Kickstarter video and a video of me teaching.”