It seems like there are a thousand videos on every known scientific topic, with most hardly more engaging than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off‘s econ teacher (“Anyone? Anyone?”). But every now and then, we stumble across something truly inspiring. Here are seven that take my breath away–and may they do the same for you and your students!
Inner Life of a Cell (3:12)
When I was first introduced to this video nine years ago in my college biology course, I actually cried for the beauty presented. This animation by Harvard University and XVIVO is every bit as moving now as it was then. Click here for the full 8 minute version with labels.
The Miracle of Life (12:15)
I came across this video when my daughter asked for details about her little brother’s growth in-utero. It may or may not have been what prompted her to contradict our storytime librarians when they explained that mammals don’t come from eggs… But at any rate, this detailed animation is a wonderful way to show a baby’s journey from conception to birth, and to inspire the wonders of life science.
The Known Universe by AMNH (6:31)
This astronomy animated film takes viewers from the Himilayas all the way to the furthest reaches of the known universe–and then back again. It is an incredible way to orient students to our minuscule relative position in space. A similar, but shorter video can be found here, entitled “An Animated Flight Through the Universe.” It is not labeled, so students may not understand what they are seeing, but it is beautiful nonetheless.
Massive Black Hole Shreds a Passing Star (1:02)
You’ll probably want to watch this brief NASA animation more than once.
Why Do I Study Physics? (3:14)
This is a phenomenal stop motion sketched animation by Shixie. It addresses one student’s complex relationship with the subject of physics in a personal, playful, and thought-provoking manner.
Beautiful Chemical Reactions (6:30)
Witness various examples of eight different chemical reactions, sped up to view every intricate detail. Published by L2Molecule.
Animation Explores the Beautiful Circles of Our World (2:06)
This video could make a thrilling provocation or conversation-starter for students studying shapes, nature, patterns, and more.
What are other high-quality science videos you’ve come across? Please share in the comments!
featured image: Bureau of Land Management