Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So long Mr Wizard

Bill Nye the Science Guy has a great tribute to Mr Wizard, the original TV science teacher who recently died. You can read it at the eSceptic's web site. The following certainly resonates with me:
"If you think about it, your favorite and most influential teachers were or are performers. When they get up in front of the class, they’ve got something to say, and they present with style, the way a comedian delivers material. So did low-key Don.

When he started out in the 1950s and 1960s on live television and film, he was the groundbreaker. Later he recreated his show with Mr. Wizard’s World on video in Canada in the 1980s. When science educators started throwing around terms like “discrepant event,” “heuristic determinism,” and “counterintuitive,” Don was just intuitive. He knew how to get it all across. Although he aged, he stuck to his approachable yet challenging style. He remained true to his code. Show, then, tell — the essence of science education."
Checking out Mr Wizard's biography at his web site, we see how passionate he was for not only science, but also theatre, radio and all kinds of acting. For me, theatre and science are intimately connected. My life long dedication to experimental theatre grows out of a fascination with human chemistry, biology and physics. The theatre is my laboratory! Every day I enter it with new ideas to test out, observing what happens when variables are changed.

As a kid, I used to watch Mr Wizard and I join in Bill Nye's salute to the man who first showed us that science training is not only essential, but also highly entertaining.

The photo above is from the Museum of Broadcasting Communications.


Monkey Face said...

I wondered if you remembered watching Mr. Wizard when I read his obit the other day. His work really reminds us of a recent conversation with a science teacher who just couldn't imagine how drama fits in the science classroom.

Village Green said...

Be sure to send him a link to my blogpost!

Anonymous said...

What are your opinions on public masturbation?

Village Green said...

Anon -- I think such events are best held inside a performance venue with admission charges and a sign that says nobody under 21 allowed. Free and open to the public could be dangerously distracting.