Monday, July 26, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action

A few months ago, The Guardian reported that the Oxford English Dictionary had included an incorrect definition for the word 'siphon' for about 100 years. Never fear though, you can now learn all about siphons from four schoolchildren dressed as monsters.

This learning opportunity arises from SciCast, an online initiative which invites scientists (of any shape or form) to submit short films about science to their website. They also present the SciCast awards, which are open to films submitted from the UK and Ireland.

Many of the films come from schools, but anyone can submit- families, professional scientists, youth groups, etc. as long as they are from amateur film-makers.

The result is a huge web resource of fun science movies that everyone can enjoy at

The initiative is the brainchild of TV producer Jonathan Sanderson and stems from what he says was a dirth of science content on British Children's TV.

The winners of the competition element of the scheme were announced at an event in the Royal Institution, London last Friday. Some of my favourite award winners include:

  • The schoolchildren from Scotland who tested a variety of rockets. See it here.
  • The Lego animation of the Apollo 11 moon landings by Oliver Madgwick which discusses the difference between mass and weight. This film won the award for technical and Artistic Achievement. See it here.
  • A fun explanation of the Doppler Effect. See it here which picked up the best Physics SciCast.
  • An excellent paper animation demonstrating seed dispersal which received the award for Best Biology (Primary) SciCast. See it here.
  • Finally, there is the wonderful "Spooky Siphoning" film which combines an explanation of siphons with monster costumes - It has to be seen to be believed!
There are loads more films to watch on the website. And while watching them should be a great learning opportunity in itself, if it encourages people to create their own SciCasts, then the organisers will have achieved something altogether much more fun!

Some of the most weird and wonderful highlights of SciCast:

Jonathan Sanderson takes about SciCast:


ozymandias1 July 29, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

And don't forget - one of the few 'real science' productions was from St Joeseph's College in Lucan under Declan doherty.

Institute of Physics Best SciCast Physics (16+) 2010
•The Leidenfrost Effect, by The HotBuds


  © Communicate Science; Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2012

Back to TOP