Science Communication: Video Examples
Videos are great tools for conveying information. I use a variety of styles to tell my science stories. I keep them exciting and entertaining, slipping in facts as I go. Each video has an overall concept with a series of related content, each of which could have its own 5 min video. I expect children through adults will learn new things in each video–I do when I make them!
If you like what you see, follow me on my YouTube channel for the latest releases: SheRockScience
Learn about the biology behind the virus Sars-CoV-2 that causes the disease CoVid19. This video starts with the basic biology of a virus. Then, it teaches about the basic research that scientists are doing to treat the pandemic.
Clean Air Clean Water
A plea from the ocean animals addressing the pollution problems we are facing.
Based on research presented by MIT in 2017, Neural Chromatography: BioDye Tattoos explores what the future may be if the research were to be developed. In its current state, the research has only been proven to work in concept–but not on any live animals, just on a skin patch. It has been tested with glucose, pH, and some salts. This video suggests what may happen if people were to function at a higher level, pushing when it makes sense and resting when we need it.
Evolution in Time.
A brief explanation about why generation time is important in evolution. Comparisons are between human growth from egg to reproductive age and how many generations of flies occur during that time (700!). To help visual generation time, the video equates to human pre-history 700 generations (10,500 years) ago.
This video was a finalist in an evolution video contest.
360 Sequoia: The Journey of a Pine Cone and a Little Wee Seed
View this video in 360! You can move your mouse, your phone, or view it with VR glasses. The video starts with a storybook style animation introducing you to viewing in 360 and to Sequoia trees. Then after immersion into the Sequoia forest, we walk under these giants. The video was filmed with a Ricoh Theta camera.
“She Rock Ice” explores how memories from past experiences combine with new daily adventures to create long-term memories. In this #SheRockScience snow and ice exploration, the viewer follows an ice climbing journey, thereby creating their own memory connections to ice climbing from watching the expedition.
She Rock Ice was created to be part of the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. The video follows me in my ice climbing adventures, but first learning about some biology behind adventuring. Topics range hormones like adrenaline, memory formation, and cold conditions.
There are two versions, the 1:34 preview:
And the full 10 min film:
Explore in the field geological facts including intrusion, inclusion, and minerals. For example, the larger the crystal, the longer it took to cool.
Exploration begins within. This film begins with using the letters of “Everyday explorer” to examine what it may mean to be an explorer. From this perspective it introduces the main character, #SheRockScience, who is a biologist thinking about the minute details of her world around her. As such, the first question she poses is “why is the grass green?” The film then explores her backyard, thinking about the green grass and the science behind what is in her yard, just outside her door. The film aims to entertain artistically and visually while sneaking in science facts for viewers of all ages.
This film was produced for the National Geographic Wild to Inspire short film competition.
What is Climate?
The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science 2018 Flame Challenge sets a competition for scientists to explain a topic to an 11-year old. I entered the video competitions, results announced in Spring 2018. In this video I travel all over California and to Sweden explaining “Climate” in a way that entertains while educates.
SheRockScience Spotlight is a series that highlights people and jobs that have to do with Science, Medicine, and STEM. The series is growing with spotlights on a genetic counselor, Physician’s Assistant, and on Mosquito Control. More are in progress.
SheRockScience a backpacking trek through the Kaiser Wilderness. Follow a quick adventure and learn a little too!
Eating Insects is an everyday way of life for many. This year at #EatingInsectsAthens Shira and Aly, aka #SheRockScience and #Bugible, explore some of the finer preparations of insects by #BrooklynBugs
The local Center for Media Arts (CMAC) put on a competition where I was assigned a title, a line in the video, and a prop to use. My video teaches about eggs! Enjoy
This is a technical talk I gave at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) conference in May 2018. The talk was part of the Plant Bioacoustics session. The research talk covers work that focuses on the insect call as it is transmitted along a plant.
* Note, in the beginning of the talk there are a few technical glitches and one can see how I cope with them.
As part of my regular practices, I show students and adults how we do recordings in the field. This is an example of an outreach event–to high school students.
Sound and Vibration
This video is a combination of an acoustics art project (see Artwork) and how I present the sound and vibrational material to middle and high school children. The magic of showing them how their voices translate to a visual, moving display usually transfixes their attention. They ask great questions and learn a bit too.
The video ends with the students who “scream with delight. It is as if they are applauding themselves. Someone entering the room would have thought this was a pep-rally in support of Science and be led to feel that all of these students will enter the fields of Science…” ~Craig Wilson, Ph.D., Director USDA Future Scientists Program.
Bright Club Comedy
In 2013 I participated in bringing science to the stage…at a bar…in Glasgow, Scotland.
This is a comedy set I put together about spider sex and insect hearing.
Fame Lab is an international organization that teaches people to effectively communicate science to a broad audience. In 2011, I participated in the Scotland heat, making it to the finals round. I strive to continually improve how I can reach people of all ages and backgrounds and the training from FameLab has helped me recognize how to keep it simple and fun.
Every Day Outreach
I enjoy teaching children advanced tidbits of science whenever I can. For example, in New Hampshire, the neighborhood children were excited by my moth collecting and what flies at night. So, I shared my enthusiasm and taught one 5-year old child about moths, hearing to avoid bats, and how to tell if it is a male moth (by looking for fanned antennae). She drew me a picture of a Luna Moth we saw at her light one night–even remembering to draw it as a male!
In addition, years I have participated in many outreach activities where I bring insects and spiders to the public to teach them and let them handle live animals. These events include activities such as: S.O.S. Day—Scary Oozy Slimy, Charlotte’s Web Spider outreach, ‘Eat a Bug’ lunch, and booths at university and nature center events. I have also been a summer camp’s naturalist teaching ages 4-14 the fun niches in their backyard.