- Max Cowan: As described below, my music producer is Max Cowan. Click here to see his website.
- Dan Kirshner: Since the start of 2013, I’ve been posting interactive quizzes and flashcards on my site. These were programmed by Dan Kirshner. Click here for his website.
Sciencemusicvideos: The Story
My name is Glenn Wolkenfeld. I’m a science teacher at Berkeley High School, in Berkeley, California. Currently, I teach three sections of biology to mostly 9th graders. I’m also a co-leader for our science department, and for the BHS professional development team. In previous phases of my life, I’ve worked as a school administrator (from 2002 to 2005) and as a project manager in the then nascent multimedia industry (back in the 1990s).
I’ve been teaching (on and off) since 1987. I wrote my first science song, the Cell Song, while in my first week of teaching, at the Phoenix School of Roseburg, in Roseburg, OR. Phoenix was at that time a school for kids at-risk of not graduating. Having a guitar in hand was a pretty effective way – maybe the only way – to get these energetic, sometimes distracted students to listen and think about science. Three of my songs —The Cell Song, The Octet Rule, and Food Chains–date back to that first year in the classroom.
Twenty years later, in 2007, my wife Nancy and I took our children, then aged 13 and 10, to live in Cordoba, Argentina, with the goal of having them return as Spanish speakers. While my children heroically endured the complexity of adapting to a school where they didn’t speak the language, I studied Spanish, took guitar lessons, and spent time in our apartment writing my two Photosynthesis Songs (The Light Reactions and Calvin Cycle and Cyclic Electron Flow). Once I wrote and recorded the songs, I was left with the problem of how to distribute them. That led me to make them into music videos which I distributed on YouTube. Sciencemusicvideos was born!
Before leaving Argentina, I produced one more music video: Food Chains. Two summers later, in 2010, I wrote a song based on the Carbon Wedges idea of Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Institute —Seven Ways to Reduce Carbon. The next summer I recorded and produced three more videos: The Cell Song, the Octet Rule, and a new song, Glycolysis Time.
In 2012, I teamed up with my incredibly talented producer Max Cowan, and ventured into rap science. You can connect with Max by clicking here. We’re also using rock, Reggae, and country. You can see the results in my latest videos:
2013 music videos: In 2013 I’ve added three more biology videos:
Krebs!, Meiosis!, and Membranes!
Three climate change videos:
The Greenhouse Effect, Keep Those Fossil Fuels in the Ground, Disrupt, Climate Disruption!
And a song (with video still to be produced) about the scientific method.The Scientific Method,
Please let me know what you think about my songs and videos. I’m also trying to support each song with curricular materials (diagrams, crossword puzzles, and slideshows). And, just for fun, I’ve started to tweet biology haikus, which you can peruse on Twitter or in my blog.
I’m hoping to keep on producing about five songs every year