Today, science demands sophisticated skills not generally taught as part of standard science curricula. Ideally, classroom instructional strategies in the sciences should teach a scientific body of knowledge and cultivate other abilities required for the practice and process of science. There are many connections between the skills used for media making and those required for scientists. For this reason, student media-making projects are an excellent way to introduce these 21st century proficiencies, many of which are also recognized in the Common Core Content Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in Science.

For example,both scientists and media makers must collaborate with colleagues, be able to make critical and focused observations, use technology for data collection and analysis, understand and evaluate information and processes and create multimedia content to communicate their idea. (see Media Making in the Science Classroom for more on this topic).

How do we go about coaching our students to create meaningful science-based media that enhances their own understanding of a topic as well as promotes understanding by others?

One answer is to scaffold media making projects so that the desired outcomes are reached. We have polled our KQED science colleagues to break down the process of scientific storytelling and to guide the development of the following resources:

  • Mulitimedia Project Implementation Plan – step by step guidance on planning a media project for students.
  • Choosing Content – how do you choose the right subject for your media project? Explore the five general categories that science journalism reports fall into.
  • Choosing Your Media Format – once you’ve decided on the story you want to tell, how will you decide to tell it? Use this chart to determine what type of media will be best to use to communicate your story.
  • Choosing Equipment – you’ve got your story and type of media decided, the final step before producing your piece is to find the equipment and software that fits your needs. This document guides you through some options based upon the type of media you are creating as well as your budget and technical needs.
  • Rubrics – finally, it is important that you are very clear with students on what is expected of them. Adjust these rubric templates so that they communicate your goals for slideshow/video projects and/or mapping projects.

These documents are just a sampling of all the resources available to assist you in leading media making projects in your science classroom. Additionally, be sure to check out:

  • KQED Science Education Media Making Toolkit – the above documents can all be found here, along with MANY more guiding you in media making projects
  • KQED Science Education Institute Workshops and Resources – lead yourself through previous KQED workshops with these useful sites and documents
  • Creating User-Generated Media Workshop – on Teachers’ Domain (free registration required); This workshop shows teachers how to use Teachers’ Domain media to produce their own videos, and then encourages them to think about how they will organize a similar experience for students.
  • Building Video Literacy – on Teachers’ Domain; explore strategies for teaching students about how videos are created to help them make smart decisions when creating their own media
  • Building Blocks – on Teachers’ Domain; search the term “building blocks” to find 99 pieces of media you and your students can download, share and remix into new media projects (select Download, Share, & Remix on the Permitted Use filter)


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