Entertainers are doing a curious thing.
This past Sunday, Will.I.Am. from the Black Eyed Peas teamed up with inventor Dean Kamen from FIRST Robotics for a back to school special titled “i.am.FIRST.” The message of this special is not only that scientists are rock stars, but that science deserves just as much promotion as sports teams in schools. Watch the trailer to wet your appetite below…
My “back-to-school” question is this: what is the benefit of having celebrities host a show like this? Is it counterproductive or does it have a positive effect? I know that my young cousin simply adores Justin Bieber and so I wouldn’t be surprised if children take his opinion seriously, but is this really a solution? I am troubled by some of the comments already on Youtube, including this one by Cutiemode – “Ironic that performers are telling us the importance of education.” Oh Will.I.Am, you have given us so much to think about.
So colleagues, I ask for your input and opinions. If you had an hour of primetime television to sell science to society, would it look something like i.am.FIRST? Or what would it look like?
Need more to solidify your thoughts? You can find the entire program on Youtube – the first part is linked here.
So, I will admit that I originally posted this without actually watching the entire program first. I caught the tail end of it on Sunday, but just went back and watched the whole thing. Here’s my thoughts:
1.) I adore Will.I.Am. Sometimes I disregard celebrity opinions, especially when reading about all the shenanigans they get themselves into on Perez Hilton. But, Will.I.Am has some great soundbites, especially within the first ten minutes.
2.) As a teacher, the FIRST robotics competition makes me root for kids. I actually got emotional watching the small spotlight on the Noble Nuts. I do hope that one girl fulfills her dream of becoming a lab tech in a hospital.
3.) I like how the program was set up. The trailer almost makes it look like celebrities talking about the importance of science education, but that is not the case at all. The focus really was on the robotics competition, which drives home the point that the focus should be on STEM education.
4.) Lab coats are science fashion. Love it.
5.) Yes, Stephen Tyler, science is about creativity. You are awesome. On the other hand, Jack Black, you sound a little fake. (But I loved you in “Kung Fu Panda.”)
Long story short, if you can spare an hour, definitely watch this program. (You can even skip through the music performances if you prefer to not “Whip Your Hair.”)