Those of you who are old enough may remember school science broadcasts, where you sat with the whole class, (often a number of classes) waiting patiently for the countdown to the programme start to tick away, whilst some very ‘cheesy’ music played as accompaniment. Not something that would really inspire you to take an interest in science. Check out this video to see what I mean. (Yes, television in schools was really this bad.)
But, thankfully things are now very different. We have been talking to the guys at Science TV, whose mission it is to connect schools with real science via interactive digital media. Their website and professional development programme aims to take science from the cutting edge, from Universities, industry, from the field, the kitchen and mash it up so it’s fit for use in education. This they do by producing high quality video productions, created by award winning filmmakers and leading scientists.
The Science TV site currently has a selection of videos that can you can access from the site or from Science TV’s YouTube Channel , where you can find a range of videos filmed at the The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 2009 , covering ideas from ‘How Movie explosions work’ to ‘Anatomical Body Painting’.
But, Science TV is not just another online video library. They run a series of workshops, where they work with a school , linking scientists and high end filmmaking techniques. Allowing students to explore scientific concepts and create a video of their thoughts and findings.
The quality of the finished material is outstanding. Not only does process create fantastic learning opportunities. But, the completed video becomes a valuable teaching and learning resource in itself. Check out this example to see for yourself. Here students from Bristol, discuss the concept of genetically engineering a Woolly mammoth. If you are interested in getting the Science TV team into your school to create something similar, then they can be contacted via their website.
Science TV are currently working on number of CPD materials which will be available free to schools, to support teachers using these video resources in the classroom. We hope to be able to have some of those resources on the Partners in Learning Network very shortly. But, in the meantime check out Science TV and inspire your students.