Science YouTube Channels

youtube iconBy Sherry Cui

“We can stay up all night. What if we stopped sleeping?” 

I was babysitting one night, and this was what the little 6-year-old girl asked. It seems like a fairly simple question to answer, but all I could come up with was “You’ll get grumpy” or “You won’t be able to think properly” or “You’ll be tired.” I tried to develop an easy way to explain the neurons connection and other body functions after adequate sleep, but it was difficult to present it in simpler terms.

That night, as I searched for a proper answer to the inquiry, I stumbled upon a video named “What if You Stopped Sleeping?” A few minutes in and I was intrigued. The information was not only factual, the presentation was outstanding. In this world of technology, we strive for instantaneous visual knowledge. With YouTube, videos are presented in a captivating way. And by using logic, knowledge, and scientific evidence, science YouTube videos can generate knowledge in all different types of audience.

asapSCIENCE (http://www.youtube.com/user/AsapSCIENCE?feature=watch)  dedicates answering science question in an interactive whiteboard format. Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, two former University of Guelph students, developed asapSCIENCE to present entertaining three minute video lessons on scientific questions such as “What if You Stopped Sleeping?”, “The Scientific Hangover Cure,” and “The Scientific Power of Naps.” By using scientific evidence, the whiteboard format, and clear voiceovers, asapSCIENCE produces interesting videos to make science entertaining for kids and adults of all ages.

It’s Okay to be Smart (http://www.youtube.com/user/itsokaytobesmart/featured) is part of the PBS Digital Studio Collection. Joe Hanson, PhD, a biologist and the host/writer of this show, presents his channel as “It’s Okay to be Smart is a blog and a YouTube Show about science. But it’s probably not about science the way you’re used to.” Hanson recognizes that it is important to inject scientific knowledge daily for a more successful future. Using less than ten minutes, he takes vivid camera production, attention grabbing narration, and research evidence and analysis to present his point. His videos include “Why Music Moves Us,” “You are Mainly Microbe,” and “Evolution: The Book of Life.”

Sci Show (http://www.youtube.com/user/scishow), developed by Hank Green, discusses science news, history, and concepts. Using pure enthusiasm and detailed scientific evidence, Green presents entertaining lectures on videos such as “How to Make Snow (if you’re not Elsa)”, “Trouble in Bed: When Sleep Turns against Us”, and “Epigenetics.” The audience become engaged and intrigued with his knowledge and presentation on the subjects. Who knew a simple 5 minute lecture (with mainly Hank Green standing in front of the camera) can help us retain so much information?

YouTube channels are engaging to audiences; Science YouTube channels are even better. So, take the time to check these out and share these videos, especially to the young scientists out there. Knowledge is key and as Bill Nye says, “Science is the key to the future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back.” Our generation and the generation beyond us are already involved in technology; what better way to ensure that scientific knowledge spreads than with these wonderful YouTube channels?

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