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Making Science Cool

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How would you use this technology?
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(5 comments so far)
@Octavia I love that idea. I'll investigate whether these particular activities are available online. Most of the activities show are part of the After-School Science...


Hi, this is Jess Tonn, Web Communications Manager for The After-School Corporation. We're pleased to have our work featured in NSF's Media & Informal Science Learning website, and hope this discussion will lead to useful feedback for us, as well as to new potential collaborations/partnerships. We're particularly interested in any suggestions or help anyone can provide in helping us get the word out about these videos. Thanks.

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Aug 23, 2010 11:38 am
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Hello Jess,

having just worked on documenting "Youth Astronomy Apprenticeship," an after-school program aimed at urban teenagers in Boston, I have been dealing with how to best disseminate video. It has been interesting (as well a little disappointing) to learn that 6 minute videos are too long. We seem to really be in a YOUtube world.

I have been thinking about breaking down these videos into ~ 1 minute segments. If the user wants to learn more just keep on clicking.

A few public schools that I have visited and admired in NYC are the Upper Lab School, the New Bronx School, and The School of the Future.


Tobias McElheny
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Science Media Group
Science Education Dept.
60 Garden Street - MS-82
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel:(617)-496-7758 Fax:(617)-496-7670

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Aug 26, 2010 08:58 am
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It gave me chills to see the differences between the drawings of scientists before and after your program, Jess--thank you for sharing these inspiring videos. Especially because it doesn't sound like this was the focus of the program. You didn't spend the whole program teaching kids to broaden their ideas about who scientists were. This came naturally out of learning how much science is a part of themselves. I thought of one idea for you. Maybe you could include links to complete versions of a couple of your activities along with the videos (you could even embed the links in the videos). So often people online expect to get access to levels of content that content providers worry will cannibalize their core business, but often the opposite happens: the more access you provide, the more your audience wants. This might help convince some viewers who need to "see it for themselves" before they believe what they're seeing in the videos.

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Aug 31, 2010 12:27 pm
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@Tobias Keeping online videos short and succinct is a major challenge for us, too. It's not always easy to tell a story in under two minutes, which seems to be the cutoff point for many users' attention spans. I'd be interested to hear if you decide to break the videos up and if that is effective. If possible, I suggest breaking them into clips by subject or topic and labeling them as such. It'll give the user a better idea of what the video is about and also help you determine which subjects/topics are most popular, based on the number of views, among your viewers.

I'd love to see your project when it's complete. Send me a link when you've posted the videos: jtonn@tascorp.org.

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Aug 31, 2010 02:06 pm
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@Octavia I love that idea. I'll investigate whether these particular activities are available online. Most of the activities show are part of the After-School Science Plus program, which was developed by the Academy for Educational Development.

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Aug 31, 2010 02:23 pm
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