Science Court


Back to middle school, thankfully.  Not many would actually say middle school is an improvement over younger grades, but it is over yesterday’s special needs preschool classroom.  In any event, I mostly enjoy middle school though there are those days of course.  Science was the subject, and will be tomorrow as well since this is a two-day assignment.  Today’s repeated middle school lesson, only four times at least instead of six, was a video (surprise, surprise).  This video was one of several Squigglevision/Science Court episodes.  This series uses the really bad (in my opinion) Squigglevision method of animation and is about two lawyers who battle against each other over some science fact, one science-challenged and one who basically does the teaching and (you guessed it) always wins the case.  There were some funny moments, and it was entertaining.  However for education it seems like they could have put more content in there.  For a half-hour show (commercials were included, yikes!) it really could have said much more about the topic at hand, which by the way was work.  Not that one episode necessarily defines the series, mind you- I haven’t seen any other episodes.  The students just started a unit on simple machines and this video taught the scientific definition of work.  In it they also talked about a few simple machines that would make the work seem easier by increasing the distance moved (work = force × distance, so increasing distance will decrease force if the work the same). We wrapped up after the video with a short discussion and a few minutes of silent ball.

If Squigglevision sounds familiar, it may be because of one of the other shows produced using this patented method.  I specifically remember a show called Home Movies back in 1999.  I’ll tell you, I watched one episode of this show and that was enough for me.  One of the drawbacks of Squigglevision animation is the lack of fluid, well, animation.  Squiggly outlines are in abundance but the animation of the characters and whatnot is just lacking.  Case in point is the entrance of a character.  Rather than appearing a little at a time to show fluid motion, the character will just all of a sudden just be there.  One frame not there at all, next frame, bam there he is.  This is part of the reason I really disliked the show.  The other was I just didn’t care for the premise.  All in all I found the show to be quite a snooze.  So, when the show creators switched to Flash animation for the second season I still did not switch back.

Anyway, back to school.  You may have noticed I wrote that I only had to do this lesson four times.  The reason for this is: 1) this is the school that has tutorial for one of the periods (some students do a foreign language instead of tutorial), and 2) at this school each core teacher does one social studies class.  Why they don’t have a dedicated social studies teacher is a mystery, probably budgeting.  So for social studies they just colored pictures of African masks.  All period.  Well, you wanted to know, right? 😀

4 thoughts on “Science Court”

  1. I remember watching science videos when we had subs even in high school. Not the Squigglevision variety but just as bad. I cannot for the life of me remember the guys name but he would have put Doc Brown to shame…HAHA Julius Sumner Miller… THANK YOU YouTube:)

  2. These days it’s Bill Nye of course. The subs then would have had to learn to use a reel projector. Either that or have a student run it I would think. I honestly don’t remember any of the subs I had. At all.

  3. Commercials in a school video?!? Had someone taped it from somewhere, or is that just what we’ve come to these days? We now bring you high school, brought to you by Microsoft… or how about – the dismissal bell is sponsered by Coca-cola… Geesh… and I thought the baseball stadiums were gettng carried away.

  4. Fear not. It was a recording of a broadcast from around 1997 complete with period commercials, including trailers for Mighty Joe Young, Babe, and others.

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