Bio Logik: Science Outreach Remixed and Served Fresh.

Long has the state of educational funding been dismal. Classrooms suffer. Teachers become bitter. Students are left numb and disinterested.

This deficit has hit the sciences especially, with minimal support for the laboratory based, hands-on learning that many of us were fortunate to have. Students are missing out on critical thinking opportunities and, in some cases, becoming less excited about science. In a society exponentially driven by STEM, this is a most unfortunate situation.

How do we change this? As scientists and teachers with little extra means, how do we make science interesting and relatable again?

Well, you turn to the most relatable medium out there: Music.

octopi

Dr. Jeremy Long from San Diego State University has been utilizing music as a teaching mechanism for the past couple of years now. In fact, some of you may be familiar with some of his musical escapades or his Annual Chemical Ecology Film Fests (now in it’s fourth year!). Taking a note out of the Science Genius book Dr. JayLow, as his students call him, brought science rapping to the west coast and added a music video component. The goal of this project was two-fold: 1. To be able to teach and get students to think about science in a way that differed from the traditional “lecture and test” method. Perhaps even so much as to allow the information to stick…novel concept; and 2. To instill the importance of translating science to a broader audience.

As a junior in college, being in his class and a part of this “experiment” was enough to drastically change my career focus. Now, as a graduate student in his lab I have to deal with him rapping in his “studio” office on the regular…but I digress.

Mar Vista H.S. students #scienceselfie

Mar Vista H.S. students #scienceselfie

In true music biz style, Dr. JayLow has branched out from his original endeavor to form a new and exciting collab, of which, I am fortunate to be a part of. With generous support from the California SeaGrant and in association with Mr. John Ashley’s Environmental Science Class of Mar Vista High School, we have set out on a new adventure dubbed:

Bio Logik

Here we continue the music video legacy with the bright minds of Mar Vista High School and seek to produce brilliant new video compilations. High school students will be working along side six SDSU graduate students to translate their science into Billboard chart toppers. We have even enrolled the help of some local musicians, beatboxer, Generik, and rapper, Parker Edison.

To give you all a preview of coming epicness, I put together this little video montage of one of our very first interactions. Needless to say, these students blew me away.

Over the next three months, we will be working with the students on translating the science, music recording, and video production.  Excited to share with you all the final products.

Stay tuned.

Alex Warneke (112 Posts)

Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service. As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science. Currently, Alex works at the interface of climate resilience and community with the Climate Science Alliance. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can get the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.