23 Jun 2017

Retro Shows on Science from the CBC, and more!

By Paula Johanson

Summer is here, and a lot of people are out of school for months. Though it's time to be outdoors doing fun things like gardening and kayaking, nobody wants to turn their brains off for an entire summer. There's plenty of science to learn -- but where?

One of the things that works for science learning in the summer is finding free videos and audio recordings and podcasts to play when needed. Quiet evenings after vigorous activity, or during long rides in buses or cars -- those are good times to play these recordings. I find it good exercise for my brain, which complements all the good exercise for my body I get in summertime! Here are some of the science resources that might be handy for students and families this summer:

Hosted at the University of Victoria's archives website is an amazing profile of a citizen scientist extraordinaire!
Ian McTaggart Cowan was a true citizen scientist who was committed to sharing scientific knowledge with all Canadians. Click here for a link to the profile, with plenty of info on this man and the science he loved. He hosted three popular television series on the CBC: The Web of Life, The Living Sea, and Fur & Feather. All of his episodes  are available at this link -- and there's enough episodes to watch one every day till September or binge a series over a weekend! This profile could be a good resource for home learning projects or for students who just want to keep their science brains revving.

On CBC radio, the IDEAS program presents interesting ideas in just under an hour of thoughtful talk. Often these episodes are on science topics. On their website you can see links to recent broadcasts or scroll down to the link  "Browse Past Episodes" and find links to many episodes which you can play right away or download onto your phone, computer, or MP3 player. Some of these talks will inspire teenagers to discuss the topics with their parents and teachers or find books at the public library!

As well, IDEAS hosts the Massey Lectures every fall (five talks by a celebrated speaker), and the past lectures are available at this link. If you like listening to lectures and discussions and finding books on the same topics, you'll enjoy looking through the list of past lectures and picking out some to hear. In 2009, the Massey Lecturer was Wade Davis, speaking as a field anthropologist on "The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World." The traditional knowledge he discusses include practical science studies such as navigation and sustainable agriculture.

Canada's National Film Board has made most of their videos available online for free! (They have materials in French as well as English, y'know.) Check out their Subjects page on the Sciences at this link and pick out some videos both classic and recent for your summer viewing. There's also some teaching aids and material for younger children.

No comments: