Kickstarting a San Fran Bay school science rap promotion

By Peter Kerr 28/03/2013 2


You obviously can’t keep a science rapper down.

Tom McFadden, a Californian and Stanford biology lecturer among other things, completed a Masters in Science Communication at Otago University last year.

Under a Fullbright Scholarship and the moniker ‘Rhymebsome’ he toured a number of NZ schools promoting science and science education. The original sticK story is here.

Part of his Otago study was to:
1. Test the efficacy or effectiveness of a music-based video (for science)
2. Authorship, and the question of whether it is better to watch or make your own hip-hop song

Obviously there was enough proof of the value of communicating science through rap that McFadden’s launched a small Kickstarter project to fund five professional music videos by Middle Schools in the San Francisco Bay area.

McFadden’s also obviously a pretty competent utiliser of social media, because he contacted sticK to promote what he’s up to.

So here’s a plug for his Battle RAp Histories of Epic Science (or Brahe’s Battles). Brahe was also a 16th century astronomer who helped prove that Aristotle’s view of unchanging heavens was wrong (as McFadden comments in his Kickstarter ‘sale’ video.

As he says on the Kickstarter page: “Combining science, history, music and video is a powerful educational experience. When students are given the tools to create a video that is viewed around the world, it can be life-changing.”

The song/videos made by the five schools will explore important moments in science history, and once complete will be available to students and teachers to enliven science education around the world.

All sounds good for the comparatively low requested sum of US$11,865, which needs to be pledged by Tuesday April 16 to be kickstarted.

Go hard Tom. Anything that helps demystify science and make it cool(er) deserves a good rap.


2 Responses to “Kickstarting a San Fran Bay school science rap promotion”

  • So cool! Thanks for the great post. For those reading, every little bit helps. $5, $10 whatever. Most importantly, you can help build momentum behind the project and spread the word. http://kck.st/10jSMY9 . Of course, you can also get that Rhymebosome Mixtape!

  • Tom appears to have changed his mind about a PhD in neuroscience, at least for the moment. I am delighted he is continuing to use his unique talents to get kids interested in a life with science. Please support him! Hopefully, we’ll encourage him back to New Zealand, for the next International Science Festival in 2014.