Daily VideoMarch 29, 2013
How Hip-Hop Can Help Unlock a Passion for Science
Watch Songs for Biology: Students Write Hip-Hop to Learn Science on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
How can a teacher engage a classroom full of high school students in a morning biology class? As it turns out, a little music can make the difference at inner-city high schools in New York.
Professor Chris Emdin of the Columbia University Teachers College pioneered Science Genius, a program that uses hip-hop to help students get hooked on science, particularly urban and minority students who are often left behind.
Emdin insists the program is more than a gimmick.
“The basic concept is, they love hip-hop, don’t love science, let’s find a way to figure it out,” he says.
Emdin believes the program works because outside of learning science concepts, students also have to practice revision, vocabulary, research, presentation and creativity.
The program has star appeal as well. Rapper GZA, member of the Wu-Tang Clan, was once a grade 10 dropout, but has turned himself into a science geek and helped co-found Science Genius. He recently made a surprise appearance at Bronx Compasss High in New York City, one of the Science Genius sites, to rap about gravity and the cosmos.
But are students actually learning more science with hip-hop? Student Keegan Dillion thinks so. “I lost my passion for science…but now that they’re mixing it up with music, I feel like I can get like an A+.”
Create your own science rap to win a shout out from GZA
Enter your own science rap or hip-hop verse for a chance to win a personal video shout-out from GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan along with a PBS NewsHour mug signed by the rap legend himself. Our contest is modeled after the Science Genius competition, a partnership between GZA, Emdin and Rap Genius. Entries will be judged by Emdin and two of his Columbia University Teachers College graduate students.
“Everything in education is a gimmick. The present world, particularly of urban education, is filled with gimmicks. Unfortunately, those gimmicks have no grounding in the youth understandings and culture,” – Professor Chris Emdin, Columbia University Teachers College.
Warm up questions
1. What keeps you engaged in the classroom?
2. How do you learn best? What techniques do you have for retaining information?
3. What do you think could be done in the classroom to make learning science more fun?
1. What did you find most interesting about this video?
2. Do you think you would learn well in this program? Why or why not?
3. Do any of your classes use interdisciplinary techniques to teach you information? If so, how do you feel about them?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The proliferation of fake news sources on social media has raised questions about the duty of sites like Facebook and Twitter to screen content and distinguish fact from fiction. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
PBS NewsHour co-anchor and longtime political journalist Gwen Ifill died Monday after battling cancer for the past several months.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld