I think it might be easier to have actual discussions if we use a message board instead of LJ because the board keeps recent posts at the top instead of having to search through and find which LJ post has more comments than before.
I created a free board at:http://sciencesquad.proboards50.com/
You should all be able to sign up, and I think I can give everyone admin access if they want it.
If you'd rather just use LJ, that's fine too, just thought the boards might make things easier.
Ok, I like the idea of doing an experiment ... but keep in mind our target audience, they aren't going to be able to easily follow something that's complicated. I was thinking that maybe doing some simple logic statements would be good, they should definitely come before we show any kind of experiment. Like one of the characters could come in and say something crazy, like "it's raining outside and therefore *insert crazy thing here*." (this would be the if a then c statement) So of course the other characters are confused, then we back up ... and go through the whole if a then b and if b then c, THEREFORE if a then c! I think for the age group that we're aiming for, this would be an extremely valuable and simple lesson to learn, and then the whole scientific method/doing an experiment on the show would have a whole other dimension.
Have you thought about center of gravity? This would also be a simple concept to introduce ... start with easy objects, like a disk or a sphere, and then move on to wierd shapes ... the characters can try and try (in a humorous manner) to find the COG by balancing funny things on a spike or something like that. (we did a lab kind of like this in intro physics, but it was the moment of inertia, not the center of gravity)
Ok, I can't withstand a personal plea for help...
This project sounds amazing! What age group are we aiming for? I have some materials for middle school (grades 6-9) but very little for elementary. I can also contact the people at APS public outreach (my bosses from this summer) if we need advice or want to ask for support. I know they love this stuff as much as we do. The APS folk would probably also know some resources for good elementary science topics to explore, so that we can get an idea of good content and the kind of vocabulary we can use.
That's about it for now. Hooray for outreach!
Our short segments could focus on how a certain problem in science was figured out. So we could have our characters wondering what matter is made of, for example, and then come up with and do some of the famous experiments and end with discovering electrons and the nucleus. A bit of historical context, it shows how science really works, and the "story" IS the science, which I think is a big plus.
My brain has been overflowing with thoughts re: this lovely project. I'm going to go back and comment later on some of the other entries, but here's some of what I've been thinking (before I forget).
I think the ideal, to start, would be the 10-minute limited you-tube segments. That way we can put all the good stuff in and not get too wrapped up in OMG we have a lot of time to fill.
Re: subject matter. I think it'd be great to get our hands on an elementary school-level physical science book. If we do short segments on a few things in each sorta-science book, we could (if we produce the videos well enough) actually put together DVDs to go out to schools to use as educational aids. I know my teachers used to love that. (Hey Erin, you worked on this stuff over the summer, WHERE ARE YOU?!?!?!?!?)
I like the idea of atoms, or maybe doing one on electricity and one on magnetism. I like atoms, but it'd be tough to do an actual experiment or project with them. Maybe we should focus on what we're good at first, and then let the tougher, maybe even more interesting stuff come later. But if we do two 10-minute segments that go hand-in hand, I think that would be awesome.
The implications of this project could be huge if we approach this the right way. Even if we use this and then serve up the idea to pbs, discovery, science, etc, and say "do with this what you will" but please, take our idea seriously and tweak it for your needs. Something like this NEEDS to be on tv. Maybe if we try to network, maybe we could get some big-name backers, or we could send our idea to some big-names to see if maybe they could get behind us. Anyone know Neil DeGrasse Tyson (or however you spell it?) Ryan? :)
I'm going to look into getting a couple more techincal and more-writer type people behind the project and see if they'd be willing to put some time in.
My goal, I think, is to have two 10-minute segments ready to film over Christmas. I'd like to do a brainstorming over Thanksgiving, but I'll only be in Michigan on Saturday/Sunday, so that might be tough.
Also, we need to start thinking names, music, segments, etc.
And breathe. Back to studying.
I have been trying to think of ways that we can reach the most people possible with what we eventually do here (speaking of which, we still need to work on what our goals are). We have mentioned YouTube, which I think would be cool IF what we do is good enough that people will want to pass it on to their friends after seeing it.
As for archetypes that we might use (see my long post about strategies): Pirates and ninjas. No, I'm serious. We want something that people will voluntarily pass on to their friends. And everyone loves pirates and ninjas. I'm still serious (about the general idea at least).
Also, I have been thinking about media other than You Tube. Do we, or anyone we know, know how to use Flash? Picture a smash hit the magnitude of Homestar Runner, but with educational content.
OR, what about an educational webcomic? Sounds lame, but we would make it not-lame. And it's another type of medium that can quickly spread throughout the interwebs *if* it catches on (look at xkcd).
PS- Read about memes
if you aren't familiar with the term. What (I believe) we want to do, is create memes.
This is a summary of the main points of a presentation made by Bob Rogers to the Mars Mission Architecture team back in '98 when they were trying to come up with a plan to get samples returned from mars. Bob Rogers is the founder of BRC Imagination Arts, a company that specializes in designing theme parks, museums, world's fair pavilions and the like. A lot of the advice carries over to our goal of getting the public engaged in science. I will try to tweak the details so that they apply to us.( Read more...Collapse )
Ok, those are some of the points from the presentation. Not all are directly applicable, but I tried to pick stuff that we should at least think about. How much of a story can we tell? How much do we simplify (aka who is our target audience)? Things like that.
I figured we can use this as a place to start talking. We need to define what we want to do and what we are capable of doing first, then get down to the details.
Hey, great idea setting up a place to organize. I don't have a lot of time to post right now, but this summer I got a packet of info about getting the public interested in space, and most of that info can apply to interest in science in general. I'll skim over it again soon and post the main points here. (I talked about it a bit in a long entry a few weeks back...)
This is a community dedicated to the brainstorming/discussion of ideas regarding a new science tv (or rather, you-tube) show for children. We've got ideas, we're creative, let's do this!