Symphony of Science

In a previous post I highlighted the use of quotes to inspire students. Well the videos I have recently come across have inspiration in spades, they will knock your socks off and leave your students with a sense of awe. These are the Symphony of Science videos (http://symphonyofscience.com/).

They are mash-up videos of snippets of TV shows and lectures given by famous scientists or science communicators, set to music. This might not sound that exciting, but they truly are brilliant. Project the videos full screen, turn the volume up, and watch the faces of your students.

Learning opportunities:

Science Students identify who the famous scientist (s) or science communicators are and what contributions they have made to their field. Pose the question to students, “What were the main scientific concepts and points that were being made”?

Media studies What is: the message of the video; target audience; how did you feel watching the video; what were you thinking at the end of it; what techniques were used to make the video interesting and engage the viewer?

Information technology integration into Science Students can use various software to make their own video/music mash-up to create an inspiring video on a topic, or explain a scientific concept. The ability of some programs to modify the voice can help students, particularly early secondary, to overcome the ‘stigma’ of hearing their voice recorded.  Alternatively they could mash-up a collection of publicly available video snippets.

Video can be used in a more traditional linear style, such as presenting a scientific report in video rather than written format. Photographic images could be used in combination or in place of video and inserted into movie-making software, and voice overs inserted to present the report. This is a great assessment activity that might help those students who are challenged by writing large reports more easily demonstrate their level of understanding.

One of my favourite tasks at the beginning of the year is to have students create a short video or podcast explaining a lab safety rule. Students can have a lot of fun, using soot to simulate exploding experiment, dramatic sound effects, dyes, goo, mash-ups with nuclear explosions, etc. I even had students using a skeleton to reveal the consequences of entering the prep-lab.

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About Marcel Bruyn

I am a Senior Project Officer in the Strategic Learning section of the Queensland Museum, seconded fron DET. I joined the team in January 2012. My teaching experience is predominantly Science and Mathematics in secondary schools in ACT, Brisbane and remote NT. I have a science background with a degree in Zoology & Botany. I have a particular interest in the use of serious games in the classroom—as constructivist tools that engage students and encourage a plethora of thinking skills and processes. I am also keen to explore opportunities for using mobile technology (think smart phones and augmented reality) in the classroom and museum. B.Sc. (Hons); Grad.Dip.Ed.; Grad.Cert.Ed.
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