Publish or Perish!

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SWBAT explain their worm experiments and results through video.

Big Idea

How can you create a video to share your findings with other scientists?


40 minutes

I remind my students that it is our job as scientists to share our findings with the scientific community, and videos are a great way to spread the word.  I explain that in their groups, they will be creating videos that share their question, procedure, predictions, data, and conclusion in a way that can be clearly understood by other people.  

Students could have created videos of any experiment that we've done so far, but I chose to use our worm experiments because I had already created an authentic audience by contacting Linda Leigh from Vermillion Wormery, the person I bought my worms from.  Having an authentic audience really helps motivate students to produce the highest quality product and stick with this complex task.

I review our expectations for working in groups, emphasizing that if a group member disagrees, they need to solve their problems quickly to get back on task.

I have students work in their groups to come up with a script that they can use to create their video.  As they start to get a handle on who is saying what, I ask them to start thinking about what they'd like to show while they are explaining each step, such as a photo of a worm with a voice over, or a video demonstration of the procedures.


Video Production

40 minutes

I did this the next class period, but you could try to do it all in one block.

This project would have been easier to do in iMovie, but my class has Chromebooks, so I suggested WeVideo for video production because it integrates with Drive. This tutorial is a good place to start if you haven't used it before.  

Most groups figured out they only need the app added to one account.  A few groups used one computer to locate pictures, saved them to their drive, and shared them with the group member with WeVideo installed.

The hardest part about this phase was keeping the noise level around the room low enough for the audio to be able to be heard.  I had external microphones, but they didn't work.  I had groups climbing under tables looking for a quiet place, but if there was another teacher's room or media center available to you, it would be great to send a few groups out to work.


10 minutes

It was a challenge trying to get groups to submit their videos on a deadline.  I made a short video in Screencast-O-Matic on how to share the video with me because I know if I show it to the whole class when they aren't doing it, they'll forget, and I didn't want to do it one at a time.

Here is one of the more polished videos:


After all the videos were published, I sent them to Dr. Leigh.  It's important to have an authentic audience for published work.