October 1, 2008
video from Songs of Higher Learning
Bob Crelin pointed me to this YouTube lunar phases video that is popular in schools. It has two elements that kids apparently love - its fast-paced and musical. Its also not completely correct, for example, at New Moon you don't see a thin crescent. But there are some nice bits: I had never thought that first quarter occurs when the Moon has completed one quarter of its monthly orbit around the Earth. This video was produced by Songs of Higher Learning which has 5 other science videos (well one is about US presidents, the rest are about Earth and astronomy) on YouTube. This Moon Phases video is by far the most popular having been seen by nearly 5000 viewers. Songs of Higher Learning also sells CDs and MP3 downloads of songs about science, history, math and grammar. I imagine they are a small group that likes music and kids. Their example suggests a project that individuals or astronomy clubs could do. Create more - and more accurate - science videos for free online distribution. Impacting 5000 kids qualifies as a success! If your astronomy club, like most, is dominated by old men who remember Sputnik, a Mars Rap video may be just the way to attract a younger generation.
Miguel Claro's Moon Video
Yesterday's LPOD: Stages of Destruction
Tomorrow's LPOD: Farside Lightness