Singing Science

There’s a long and proud tradition of totally nerdy sciences songs.

Flanders and Swann, Tom Lehrer, They Might Be Giants, Atom and His Package, and MC Hawking (You down with Entropy? Yeah you know me!) are just a few of the luminaries in this field.

There are so many great nerdy science songs that I once made a mixed tape on this subject (recorded off vinyl) for my high school chemistry teacher. This was the same class where a student took on the persona of a rapper he called ROYGBIV, and where some of my classmates wrote an amazing composition about the Chernobyl disaster set to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. I’ve still got the lyrics somewhere.

This class was also when I decided to major in physics as an undergrad.

So I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that a teacher in Oakland, CA (Hollllla!) has started a blog of his students rapping about science. Science with Tom features such hits as Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick and Dwarf Planet, Wassup?

Being somewhat partial to Pluto, I include that particularly ditty below:

Well, school in Oakland has certainly changed a lot since my day.

While science songs may be nothing new, I’m excited to see in this digital era an educator who’s actively sharing this work and who hopes “that teachers and students across the world will utilize, remix, and reinvent these videos.”  And the comments on his blog and YouTube channel indicate that people are doing just that.

Science is fun. And it’s funny. And it takes creativity. It’s not some velociraptor waiting to attack. Like many things, it’s simply the story of people trying to make sense of the world around them.

Singing and dancing isn’t the only way to bring out those aspects, but it seems to be an effective way. So go on ahead – keep on singing.


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