Observational Science – Teaching without words

Lately I have been thinking about ways of blending various aspects of history into math/science lessons on Khan Academy. The traditional model of: lesson, experiment, lesson, experiment makes sense – though it’s important to do the experiment part in a natural way. All experiments begin with observations in the real world. So, I’m going to make a series of short silent videos which reenact observations made by our ancestors and first inventions/technologies which result.

Later on, lessons using modern technology can reference these videos (Karl mentioned we could call them Building Blocks) as experimental foundations everyone can understand. In this case I begin with a simple video of someone finding rocks in a river with seemingly magical properties. Then these properties are harnessed to create new things. This will lead us into electromagnetism, and more modern inventions such as the telegraph. Check out the progress here

6 Responses to “Observational Science – Teaching without words”

  1. Andrew Price Says:

    This is a great idea since language barriers are often cited by researchers as barriers to understanding math and science. To be on the safe side though, I think it’d be helpful to learners if references were included in the comments section (links to articles, books, websites ) for further research.

  2. Paige Herrin Says:

    Aloha! I know this post was from many years ago, but I am researching the idea of teaching science without words and I am wondering if you have any results from this that you could share? Was it successful?

    Warmest mahalo,


    • Brit Cruise Says:

      Would love to chat about this, I saw some people use this videos are part of a science book. But I never personally did any larger implementations. this was very much R&D and in fact i’m STILL brainstorming a physical game which would use these videos. feel free to email me to chat more

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