Videos hosted by teens make complex environmental topics relevant for peers and more accessible for educators
© California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco (January 12, 2016) — A new youth-powered video series from the California Academy of Sciences is helping to connect teens with critical environmental topics like food, water, and energy in an exciting “for youth, by youth” digital format. Videos in the Flipside Science series are hosted by teens from Academy youth programs and highlight diverse perspectives in an upbeat, classroom-friendly way that encourages viewers to make choices that positively impact their own communities—and in turn—the planet.
“At the Academy, one of our most important goals is to help cultivate the next generation of science and sustainability leaders and connect youth with not only the wonders of the natural world, but an understanding of the critical environmental issues facing our planet,” says Dr. Elizabeth C. Babcock, the Academy’s Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education. “By sharing these important concepts and ideas from a fresh youth perspective, we hope to inspire viewers to think differently about the natural resources on which we depend.”
In addition to dynamic, educational video content featuring a combination of vibrant animations, infographics, and interviews with experts conducted by teens, Flipside Science features media-rich units perfect for educators looking to spark peer-to-peer dialogue and challenge students to develop their own solutions-oriented thinking around critical environmental issues. Units on food security and water use and conservation have recently launched, with another on energy planned for April 2016. Each series includes a number of short videos, design thinking activities, and supplementary materials aligned with Next Generation Science Standards to help educators customize the way they teach science in the classroom.
With each short video, viewers will learn how to use critical thinking as they define problems, evaluate evidence, and form educated opinions about environmental issues—from innovative solutions to feeding a growing global population to waste water recycling in our homes and businesses. While the series is developed for middle school-aged youth, the content will appeal to anyone with a desire to learn more about simple, everyday changes they can make to positively impact the environment.
Videos in the Flipside Science series feature teens from Academy youth programs, aimed at developing science communication skills for groups traditionally under-represented in science fields. The series is part of the museum’s Global Environmental Literacy Initiative, made possible through a transformative grant from the Pisces Foundation. This generous grant allows the Academy to accelerate the development and increase the global reach of its critical ecoliteracy programs.
The California Academy of Sciences is an innovative leader in efforts to increase scientific and environmental literacy worldwide. Based in San Francisco, the Academy is home to 170 science educators and communicators as well as more than 300 highly trained docents who engage people of all ages—both here in California and around the world—in the scientific concepts and issues that will shape our future. Through intensive partnerships with schools and teachers, innovative programs and exhibits for all ages, engaging online learning and digital media offerings, and immersive science visualization productions, Academy educators increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the natural world and inspire participants to help sustain the rich diversity of life on Earth.