Assignment: The Great Scientists

Create a short film about a famous scientist. Explain the key elements of his or her work, and show why they are significant.

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Suggested techniques

Enhance the story if appropriate with biographical sequences. Reconstruct significant moments from of their life in dramatic form. You can do it in modern dress and setting if period dress and sets aren't available.

Include sequences with people explaining how that person's work has affected their everyday lives to show the impact of what they did (for example, patients talking about how penicillin saved their lives).

You can do this lecture-style, using an on-screen presenter, or present it as a documentary with voice-over. Present it autobiographically, and have the person talk about their own work.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you're saying. This may be necessary if you're explaining something complex or theoretical which can't be shown easily on screen (such as relativity or chemical reactions).

Add appropriate background music to create atmosphere, and ensure you have a striking title sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This helps the student both understand the scientific discoveries being present, and the context in which they were discovered.
  • Dramatic reconstruction makes for a good group project.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.
  • Finding images and music to enhance the presentation requires detailed research.
  • Providing narration builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups or solo
  • Science

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