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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

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Let the Games Begin!: Learning Science Through Gameplay

“Lure of the Labyrinth” teaches pre-algebra concepts through a series of puzzles (and they meet a few monsters along the way!)Imagine telling your child to “turn off that computer game and go finish your homework.” Then imagine your surprise as he replies, “But this is my homework.” You might think he’s trying to pull a fast one – a computer game as homework? What kind of teacher would assign that? Well, actually, a math or science teacher would. Okay, but why? We asked that question to Eric Kopfler, Director of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program (MIT STEP) and the Director of The Education Arcade (TEA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Summit on Science, Entertainment, and Education

Sean B. Carroll, vice president for science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, does a Q&A session with members of the audience.“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten,” Rudyard Kipling once observed. The same could be said for science. Biologist Sean B. Carroll from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute cited the power of storytelling during a daylong Summit on Science, Entertainment, and Education last Friday, organized by The Science & Entertainment Exchange with funding provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The room at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles was filled with leaders from all three sectors, brainstorming ideas on how best to combine their efforts to transform U.S.

Scientists Sharing Secrets Online

Maybe the success of The Big Bang Theory started a backlash. Because now there seems to be a campaign underway to sell the public on the notion that scientists don’t have to be geeks, nerds, or white men. The latest assault on the stereotype comes from the new PBS online-only series, The Secret Life of Scientists, the title co-opted from the critically acclaimed ABC Family network show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

So far, more than a dozen profiles of scientists have been posted, with the promise of more in a few months. Viewers are entertained by clicking on four brief video segments for each scientist, one of which features answers to 10 questions.

The Science of Storytelling

Everyone loves a gripping story, and anything involving family secrets seems to have particular power. The Star Warsseries was hugely popular not just for its eye-popping special effects and epic mythology, but also for its tangled familial relationships. Darth Vader is Luke's father? Leia is his sister? It's positively Dickensian in its intricate genealogical scope.