Thanks to YouTube, channels like AsapSCIENCE and Vsauce have garnered huge followings through their breakdowns of complex scientific facts in layman’s terms. But one science teacher on YouTube is using the video streaming site to teach his students a new way to look at historical innovations in the field.
One of his most recent videos discusses the contributions of DNA co-discovers Francis Crick and James Watson and British scientist Rosalind Franklin. Instead of a Vsauce-like video that summarizes their contributions in five minutes, he gets seventh-grade students from Oakland, California to play the roles of Crick, Watson and Franklin and engage in a rap battle to the tune of Kanye West’s “Clique” and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.”
The boys who portray Crick and Watson tells everyone that “ain’t nobody fresh than Watson and Crick” and that “Science is so thrillin’, man that feelin’, When you go and start revealin’, Life’s secrets if you’re willing.” Not to be outdone, the girl who portrays Franklin counters the cockiness by rapping: “I should have got a Nobel for my work. But then I died so we’ll never know. But it’s not too late to recognize me though. I’m not a female scientist. I’m a scientist, man!”
McFadden told the British newspaper The Independent that rap videos are his way of engaging students in the field: “By bringing music, history, humor and video into science, I’m hoping to get students as fired up about the material as I am.”
Watch the battle between Crick and Watson and Rosalind Franklin in the video above.
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