Science Bytes

Synopsis

Science Bytes is a joint project of Kikim Media, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and SRI International.  The centerpiece of the project is a series of short videos — from five to seven minutes in length — that introduce students to the ideas and practices of science by telling stories about researchers working at the frontiers of their fields. The videos will be designed to help teachers convey the three dimensions of science education that form the foundation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—a new set of expectations detailing what every student should understand about science before graduating from high school. View our trailer above to get a quick sense of the possibilities inherent in this kind of storytelling.

The videos will be accompanied by online teachers’ guides created by NSTA that will help teachers understand how to integrate them into any curriculum. To support the use of these materials, NSTA will also incorporate them into both new and existing professional learning workshops. Together, the videos and the guides will help teachers to be more effective while simultaneously enriching students’ experiences.

SRI International will guide the early stages of Science Bytes by testing the initial videos produced and then reporting on what’s working and what can be improved. SRI will later evaluate the full set of videos to determine actual learning outcomes and measure the project’s overall impact and effectiveness with both teachers and students.

The first five videos in the series were produced as part of a pilot project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and were based on peer-reviewed studies published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS).  Since then we have expanded our editorial focus to include other videos like the three we recently produced for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, featuring Manu Prakash’s work on the $1 microscope, Beth Shapiro’s discoveries using ancient DNA, and Roman Stocker’s research into the mysteries of the ocean.

We are currently seeking funding for a multi-year project that would make Science Bytes the centerpiece of a broader effort to inspire young people and enhance public understanding of science.