best thing in learning is the "AHA!" moment - that mental click where
some confusing gibberish suddenly transforms into deep, instinctive
Often, that comes from finding the perfect metaphor. As a writer and poet, I always felt the need to tell stories about the science concepts that came my way. It served me well as a physics and chemistry workshop leader and when studying for the MCAT. Students who studied with me and teachers who oversaw my work both told me they loved my quirky metaphors.
The Science Monologues Project comes out of those stories. It consists of spoken-word tracks backed by synthesizer music. They're not lectures, and they're not jingles. They're something a little bit different.
Each track is two to four minutes - the kind of thing you can listen to on your iPod while walking to class, or add to a mix tape, or play in your car or on the bus. Each track centers around one concept and one metaphor or example that draws connections around the concept.
Science Monologues are only released into the wild once my beta testers have told me they're entertaining in their own right as well as a useful study aid. They're here for students and for science-educated adults who enjoy the sense of delight that comes with thinking from a new perspective.
Below, there are links to download these tracks. There will be more, so keep checking back, or follow A.J. Luxton on Google+ or Facebook to receive updates as they're made. The tracks will always be free of charge; any donations go towards maintenance costs for the project. RSS feed and iTunes podcast coming soon.
|The Subway Trains in your Nerves|
Biology � mp3
|What's the difference between myelinated and unmyelinated axons? How exactly do those Schwann cells and nodes of Ranvier work?|
Chemistry � mp3
|Everyone knows how Kekule dreamed of the snake eating its own tail when he was trying to figure out the benzene ring, and how this applies to the concept of resonance... or do they?
|A Catalyst on Campus|
Chemistry � mp3
|How enzymes and catalysts make it easier for a reaction to happen - without changing the energy level of the reactants or products.|
|Resistance Over the Willamette River|
|Don't understand electrical resistance? It's about flow - and resistors are like bridges. Here's how.|
|Always a Little Bit Boiling|
|Vapor pressure seems complicated... but it's really as simple as a good cup of coffee.|
|The instrumentals are inspired by the sound of a geiger counter in this track explaining half-life.|
|What Goes Up|
|Velocity and acceleration got you down? Let's take a short trip up with a projectile.|
| Neurotransmitter Song|
|Not quite a science monologue! A singable round to the tune of "Frere Jacques", featuring Meredith L. Patterson, Martin McClure, Liene Verzmnieks (whose dopamine necklace inspired us) and some other nice people.|