Big Bang Science Can Only Get Better
It seems that geek really is chic right now! Cult US sitcom Big Bang Theory picked up three
accolades – more than any other programme – at the Critics' Choice TV Awards in
Los Angeles recently. Not only was the show named best comedy series, stars
Simon Helberg and Kaley Cuoco scooped awards for best supporting actor and
actress respectively for their roles as Howard and Penny.
And, of course, science on the small screen isn’t confined
to comedy shows. There are thousands of hours-worth of scientific entertainment
material on television and online, plus a plethora of special resources for
teachers and a host of other educational material, as well as programmes,
websites and social media pages aimed at helping us understand and marvel at
the world around us.
Inevitably, it’s difficult to provide a definitive list of
the best material, because new items are constantly coming along. However, here
are some resources guaranteed to provide high-quality material that will help
you understand, teach or simply enjoy the wonders of science.
Bang Goes the Theory
is a British TV magazine programme for kids, created by the BBC. Here’s a page
packed with fun
experiments you can try at home. There’s everything from building a simple
‘spud’ (potato) gun or canister rocket to setting steel wool alight using a 9V
battery or creating a bouncy ball out of an egg. Why not give it a go? The
programme also has teacher’s
packs available, aimed at those teaching 11-to-18-year-olds, with resources
ranging from evolution to astronomy.
Here’s a classic clip
from the programme in which the presenters demonstrate just how much energy’s
required to power a modern home. We take electricity at the flick of a switch
for granted, but see what happens when the programme tries to supply a family’s
electricity needs for an entire day solely through human pedal power. Watch the
massive team of riders sweat as they struggle to keep up when the electric
shower is turned on!
Naturally, here at 3B Scientific, we have our own range
of science experiments for professional educators and we’re continually
expanding the scope of experiments offered to encompass key concepts in Mechanics, Thermodynamics,
and Nuclear Physics. Each experiment guide contains an explanation of the
scientific principles presented, complete with graphs and images, as well as
example measurements and calculations.
The classic series, Wonders
of the Solar System established Brian Cox as a television star in the UK.
The one-time keyboard player in the band 1990s D:Ream (they had a UK number one hit with Things Can Only Get Better in 1993) visited some of the most
stunning locations on Earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved
natural wonders across the Solar System. In this stunning footage, Professor
Cox experiences the Solar
Eclipse In Varanasi.
Speaking of the wonders of the solar system, the NASA
website is always well worth a visit for its spectacular images, information
about space flight and educational resources. Click for the image of the day
Finally, let’s not forget the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel, but we’ll finish with
a fascinating episode from the venerable UK pop-science programme Horizon. In this programme, we find out what cats get up
to when they venture out through the cat-flap. Scientists and programme
makers put 50 cats under 24-hour-a-day surveillance in a village just outside
London, and discovered some rather interesting results….