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Find more Top 10 Science Videos
This list of recommended science-related videos has a little something for everyone, from youngsters interested in learning more about ocean creatures, scientific classification, and Mars, to older students and adults seeking details about Albert Einstein and “forgotten genius” Percy Julian. The reviews appeared in Booklist over the past three years.
Classifying Life. 2006. 20min. Visual Learning, VHS, $89.95 (1-59234-137-3). Gr. 5–8.
One of four titles in the Classification of Life series, this clearly presented introduction covers such topics as taxonomy history and the hierarchy of scientific naming. Crisp live-action footage and captioned terminology accent this useful classroom resource, available as a series on DVD for $299.
Einstein’s Big Idea. 2005. 2hr. WGBH, DVD, $19.95 (1-59375-317-9).
John Lithgow’s low-key narration and interviews with authors, scientists, and historians counterbalance stunning period-reenactment dramatizations that highlight Einstein’s personal life and scientific contributions.
Great Scientific Ideas That Changed the World. 2007. 18hr. Teaching Company, DVD, $149.95 (9781598033021).
An articulate Lehigh University professor traces and examines how scientific ideas have changed the modern world in 36 half-hour lectures accompanied by maps, photographs, and captioned text. An audio-only version is also available.
Life after People. 2008. 94min. A & E, DVD, $24.95 (1-4229-0939-5).
Mixing solid science information with eye-opening computer animation and other Hollywood special effects, this fascinating program speculates on “what would happen if every human being on earth disappeared.”
Mapping Stem Cell Research. 2007. 90min. Cinema Guild, VHS, $99.95 (0-7815-1233-6); DVD, $99.95 (0-7815-1232-8).
A Northwestern University researcher’s work takes a personal turn after he shifts his focus to stem cells and spinal trauma following his daughter’s paralyzing ski accident. Includes convincing arguments for the necessity of stem cell research.
Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius. 2007. 116min. WGBH, DVD, $19.95 (1-59375-682-8).
Award-winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson portrays Percy Julian in this insightful profile of the brilliant chemist, the grandson of slaves and son of teachers, whose personal courage and professional accomplishments helped open the door for others.
Roving Mars. 2007. 48min. Disney Educational, DVD, $29.95 (1-59753-157-X). Gr. 6–9.
Viewers get an inside glimpse of Mars in this slick production that shows scientists launching and tracking spacecraft rovers that travel 300 million miles to Mars.
Seeing in the Dark. 2007. 60min. PBS, DVD, $24.99 (0-7936-9376-4).
Based on a book of the same name (2002), this DVD showcases astronomers through the ages who have peered through professional and handmade telescopes. Reenactments, astrophotographs, and poetic narration stand out.
The State of the Ocean’s Animals. 2007. 55min. Screenscope, VHS, $149; DVD, $149.
Matt Damon hosts this episode in the ongoing Journey to Planet Earth series, a beautifully filmed investigation of “why so many of our ocean’s animals are disappearing.”
Who Lives in the Sea? 2008. 45min. Library Video, DVD, $19.95. PreS–Gr. 4.
Underwater photographer and self-professed ocean environment educator Annie Crawley’s breathtaking exploration of animals that live in the sea (an episode in the Dive into Your Imagination series) is entertaining, educational, and inspiring.
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