So a couple months ago, I sat down with some science educator types and we had a bit of a tete a tete over the Science Creative Quarterly, and how surreal it seems to have this sizable readership growing. We also discussed how lovely it is that sites like Boingboing or Digg will benefit that attempt to gain readership, with the odd link here and there.
From this, we also kind of went on to discuss how interesting and useful sites like Boingboing and Digg are in of themselves, and particularly great at finding material, graphics, media, anecdotes, (whatever the case may be) that fit nicely in lectures we deliver to classes.
Not necessarily from a straight up academic point of view, but rather in the vein of providing short and needed lifts during the context of a 50 minute discussion. Call them transition points if you like, which are really useful since they simply keep the level of engagement high.
As well, when you challenge yourself to be creative enough, some of these “cool” factoids work well in the context of the material itself. And this info is also useful.
So the question that came to pass was whether there was already a site that did this specifically. And if not, why don’t we set up a site that does by sort of filtering out the “cool” stuff even further, for stuff that could be used in a science education, science communication context, make it easy to search through, and also provide the ability to leave commentary as to how such and such was used to great effect.
Man, we thought – that would be really cool if something like that could develop. Useful too. The key, of course, is word of mouth.
So without further ado, let’s have a go, and let me introduce the SCQ’s FILTER.
(From the “about” section)
“FILTER” The name says it all really.
The Science Creative Quarterly is, at the heart of it all, a project aimed at getting folks to talk a little more science. And if we were to expand this further, it is to get non-science folks to play a little as well. This, we’ve been doing in a pseudo literary sort of way with the SCQ, and we hope also in a reasonably successful sort of way.
But quite often, with respect to our roles as teachers and communications, we find something that let’s us talk science a little easier. And these are things that aren’t just text, not exactly literary. Just good – good for a few seconds. Maybe it’s something funny, curious, or inspiring. We’re talking about elements that work well in the context of that presentation you’re designing to deliver to your peers, your classroom, your basic denizens of the general public.
So this is what the FILTER is all about. It’s about us educators finding and presenting things that don’t necessarily educate (there’s lots of good stuff out there that already does that), but rather works in the context of providing that chuckle, a transition point, or a much needed break in the dryness that can develop during the act of communicating science.
And we hope you use this stuff – because as educators of note, we know it happens to work. And that’s a good thing, right? Seriously now: Who’s going to argue for the world needing a little more awe and respect for the sciences?
You are of course.