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Scalar Learning Podcast

210 EpisodesProduced by Huzefa KapadiaWebsite

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EP 141: The Value of Music Infused Science Education featuring “Science with Tom”

The Meredith Vieira Show was a daytime network talk show on NBC that had a solid run of two years. During the show’s existence, Meredith invited various panels of esteemed guests on air to discuss a range of political and social justice topics. One of her most epic decisions, in my opinion, was to devote a segment of her show to a rising star in the world of science education. Meredith invited a gentleman named Tom McFadden, science teacher and creator of the YouTube channel “Science with Tom,” to share some of his science inspirational lyrics and beats with the world. Tom did just that, but it wasn’t a solo effort. The notorious edu-rapper was accompanied by none other than Lil’ Jon. The show was a victory for both music and education, and the final message was clear: musically charged lectures deliver potent information while engaging young minds. Win, win, and win.

Tom McFadden is a longtime biology and science teacher. He is a stalwart advocate of the Next Generation Science Standards, which is a revolution in science education that deemphasizes rote memorization and instead focuses on the processes of scientific work. The general goal of the shift in standards is to empower students to “apply STEM principles to their lives,” even if they choose an academic or professional pursuit that does not lie directly in the realm of standard scientific pursuits.

Tom first began experimenting with music videos in the classroom after he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in New Zealand. It was there that he completed a thesis on the impact of music videos in education, spurring him forward to become a prolific content creator in the realm of edu-tainment. Today, Tom’s YouTube Channel has nearly 15,000 subscribers and a collection of professionally produced science music videos. Tom often parodies existing popular songs in order to create his musical stylings. Some of his recent hits include a song about vaccinations entitled “My Shot,” a lesson on genetic material entitled “DNA,” and a track all about water conservation entitled “Drought.”

To hear the full rundown about this revolutionary educator, check out the entire interview! For more information about Tom McFadden, check out his awesome website

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