Science Teaching in Film and Video

Last week I received emails from colleagues that believe that film and video make a strong contribution to the public understanding of science.  The three emails reflect as many ways that film and video are used in science education.

The first email was from Dr. Bill Hammack, the Engineerguy at the University of Illinois.  I described Bill’s approach which not only involves the development of video, but he used radio programming and public presentations to explore ways that the engineering profession might reach out to the public to help citizens become more aware of how engineering concepts are a part of their everyday life.  One of the most powerful aspects of his work are the videos he is developing that as part of a program to humanize engineering and science.  Here is one of his videos.  Link here to go to his YouTube site where you can see his other videos.  Engineers, scientists and science educators producing video is a powerful tool for the public understanding of science.

I also received a note as a result of uploading a movie on geology on YouTube from an earth science teacher (Dry Dredger) who has created a whole series of videos on fossil hunting. Here is one of his videos:

The second email was from Carolyn Friedman who has assembled a list of The Top 25 Science TV Shows of All Time.  She has included four categories including reality TV shows (NOVA Science Now), fictionalized shows (CSI), shows for Kids (Bill Nye the Science Guy), and science fiction shows (Star Trek).  I think you will find the link to her site valuable, and she has assembled all of the videos on the list with links to the shows.

The third email from Jess Tonn from The After-School Corporation (TASC) announcing a series of videos on informal science education.  Teach video is 1 – 2 minutes in length showing kids engaged in hands-on activities. You can see all of their work on their YouTube site.   Here is one example from TASC informal science education program.




These are some examples showing how videos are a creative in bringing science to students and the public.  I recommend you visit any of these examples.