October is Black History Month in the UK. I’d bet most science teachers would struggle to name a single black scientist from history. Whilst it may be important to make students aware of the historical contributions of black scientists, I think it’s perhaps more important to make children aware of the work that black scientists are doing today, particularly in Africa. The film below is one I made back in 2006. It is a portrait of the winner of the 2006 Royal Society Pfizer Award – for “an outstanding, innovative… Read more Black History Month →
This is one for you if you’re feeling a little lazy. You could do this demo and explain the science yourself… or you can let Dr Andrea Sella of the UCL Chemistry Department explain why things appear “white”. Suitable for anyone teaching the electromagnetic spectrum or “properties of light” at KS3 or KS4. (Warning: the first few seconds of the video are deliberately meant to show a blank white screen).
This is one you really should do for yourself. The video is way too long, but I like the fact that he uses such a big can and it serves to illustrate one of the problems with this demo – you just don”t know when the thing is going to go…
There are some great science films out there which are well worth showing to your classes. Unfortunately there’s not enough time to show more than one or two such films during the school year, so it would be really useful to have more short films to give a bit of background and history to the topics we need to teach – a kind of video version of those boxes you get in text books, which tell you a little bit of history or provide some biographical detail of a scientist.… Read more Penicillin →
Here’s another video that might come in useful when teaching about acids and alkalis – Rosie Coates shows us her favourite chemistry demonstration involving a giant test-tube and some universal indicator solution. As well as showing us a fantastic demo, Rosie explains how the science of acids and alkalis can have important real-world applications. This is another video where it’s really worth hitting the “HQ” button on the youtube player after you’ve hit “play”.
A brief summary of the Dolly story, including an explanation of the science. The voiceover is a little annoying and it might be a little too brief, but definitely useful for teaching about cloning if the only other resource you have is a textbook. Watch Dolly the Sheep at EncycloMedia.com
I’ve been hunting for a good short film about the big bang but have yet to find one. I was hoping this film might be the one, but it doesn’t quite do the job as it doesn’t go into enough detail for me. However, it does (very briefly) explain some of the more interesting ideas Physicists have about the universe. It’s a good one to use for discussing the “true” nature of the universe…and the fact that nobody really knows. In case you’re interested, the scientist in the film is… Read more The Big Bang, Briefly →
This short film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, features a stunning animation that should be useful for teaching evolution at KS4. You’ll still need to show your students a diagram of the Tree of Life at some point, but this film does a great job of bringing such diagrams to life. You can download a high definition version of the film at the Wellcome Trust’s dedicated “Tree of Life” website where you’ll also find a bunch of other resources to help teach evolution, including worksheets and the transcript of the… Read more The Tree of Life →
I hope to be filming some science demonstration videos over the next few months and I’d like to hear from teachers who would like to have a high quality video of a particular demonstration. My own opinion is that you should, where possible, do demonstrations live in your classrooms. However, there are some demos that are too difficult / expensive / time consuming to do which would be really useful to show students. Also, there are some great demonstrations done by live science performers which might be useful to have… Read more New Free Videos – help wanted →