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Bill Nye the Science Guy

  • Thread starter Woopydalan
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

In young children, do you think these videos spark any interest in kids for science, or is there too much distraction and they don't help?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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As a current high schooler looking back upon my early years, I find a certain fondness toward the attempts of Bill Nye at presenting Science as *cool* for kids.

But I think that at the time, it really depends what the education environment is like. In my public elementary school, we were sometimes shown clips of Bill Nye videos, and I remember ridiculing how this adult was trying to pretend he's a funny guy. Still, from these videos I remember realizing "hey, science is pretty cool! It's not just all explosions that are awesome, but there's more to it".

Ultimately, it's far from a waste of time. But these videos shouldn't be the only inspiration kids are given to pursue science!
 
  • #3
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When I was going up, we watched a lot of Bill Nye videos, both the PBS episodes as well as the ABC/Disney episodes. Another similar show was Beckman's World. These are what got me interested in science. I can even vaguely remember Newton's Apple. One more show was Science Court on Saturday mornings, though I didn't watch too much of that.

I would say these shows did a very good job at getting me interested in science and many of my peers in the same time period.
 
  • #4
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I watched a lot of them with my daughter when she was fairly small. I thought they were good for her age at the time.

I talked to one friend (teacher) who said some other teachers showed them in high-school. I think that would be ridiculous. So, it really depends on who is watching...
 
  • #5
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I loved Beakman's World and Bill Nye. I only recall Newton's Apple when I was sick... maybe a timing problem? I think that they were great shows, but they went off the air when I was in middle school, and I don't recall watching the later episodes. I agree with Sankaku that high school is ridiculous. In fact, anywhere it school might be pushing it. My recollection of every video I ever saw in school is that my main goal was to find as many rude things to say about it as possible... but I was a pretty wretched child.
 
  • #6
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They were definitely fun to watch when I was a kid, but it wasn't ultimately what got me into science. This can clearly vary from child to child, but like others have stated, you shouldn't just plop a kid in front of a TV, and have them watch two hours of Bill Nye the Science Guy every day with the hope of getting them interested in science.
 
  • #7
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I agree with antifreeze. We watched Bill Nye in elementary school, probably around grades 3 and 4. Of course it had the normal "we are going to watch this video and do this work sheet as you watch it" kind of assignment. I always enjoyed them at that age. Of course when I got older and re-watched them, I realized how watered down they were. I also that his short lived "Eyes of Nye" was good as well.
 
  • #8
lisab
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Two things about the Bill Nye show - and this is very much just my opinion.

One: I can think of no better way to make science repulsive to middle school girls. I saw it with my own daughter and her friends. They internalized him as what a scientist is -- despite the fact that I was one!! -- and thought, if that's a scientist I don't want to be one.

Two, and this ties into the first reason: I really hate the whole "wacky mad scientist" shtick. Way, way too stereotyped and gimmicky.

My $0.02.
 

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