With coffee cups in hand, science teachers sat back and relaxed Thursday morning to watch cartoons and movies.
"This is a good break from all that brain [work]," Daryl Taylor told more than 200 educators attending the NSTA national convention in Philadelphia.
Taylor, who teaches AP and honors physics at Williamstown High School in New Jersey, presented a session called Hollywood Science. The presentation showed teachers how they could use video clips from television shows, cartoons, and movies to introduce or enhance any science topic.
Daryl L. Taylor of Williamstown
High School in New Jersey uses
"cartoon physics" from Wile E.
Coyote video clips during his
Hollywood Science workshop.
"Kids believe what they see on the screen," Taylor explained to attendees. He added that television is "huge part of [students'] lives."
Taylor said he started presenting his Hollywood Science program across the country 10 years ago because he wants to teach associating concepts with the real world. He added that students would always ask him questions about movies.
Taylor's presentation enabled teachers to watch several video clips from movies including Men in Black, Robin Hood, Terminator 2, and other films.
Teachers, for example, learned about Newton's laws of force and motion while viewing a clip from the movie Men in Black. The piece showed an explosion with glass being blown inside a building.
Attendees also viewed a clip from the cartoon Wile E. Coyote. The piece showed a roadrunner running down a road at a high rate of speed among other stunts. Taylor explained that teachers could use the clip to teach students about force and motion.
"Cartoons are just full of Newton's laws," Taylor observed.
Taylor, a teacher for 28 years, said his Hollywood Science program is designed for any grade level. Taylor, however, emphasized that educators should choose video clips from movies and television shows that are age appropriate.
"I think it's very cool that he took the time to research the science behind all those movies," said Nicole Albrecht, a sixth-grade science teacher at Thompson Brook School in Avon, Connecticut.