Creative science teachers who allow their students to make science history, science stories and science activities their own are, in my opinion, the greatest asset to furthering science knowledge for civilization. While I may be “sciencegoddess” on twitter, I know I can’t take credit for my two oldest children for choosing physical sciences to pursue in college. That honor goes to a fantastic physics teacher at their high school, who works magic within the constraints of a public school system, for which myself and many other parents are grateful.
An emerging tool for teachers to engage students is encouraging them to create videos of all sorts, including music videos. Using the format popularized by “Epic Rap Battles of History” (I wrote about the epic battle between Einstein and Hawking as a rare example of a science themed rap battle) a 7th grade KIPP science class from San Jose, CA, led by science teacher Tom McFadden, were heard on NPR’s Morning Edition rapping about Rosalind Franklin’s role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.
From below their video:
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This project began at one school thanks to an HP sustainability and social innovation grant. It expanded thanks to a kickstarter campaign (known as “Brahe’s Battles”). We have now completed five science history battle rap music videos on five topics at five different bay area schools.
This video was conceived of, written, and performed by 7th graders from KIPP Bridge Charter in Oakland, California.
Ideally, this video will inspire many people, especially young people, to learn more about the Rosalind Franklin/Watson & Crick controversy and the role these controversies play in the unfolding of science and I sincerely hope this experience and future ones like this all across the world will inspire students to look at science with new eyes and see how they might find a place in the world of scientific discovery, or at the very least, be more scientifically literate.