Three Act Science – In Practice

This is very much a collaborative project and comments/criticism/resources/ideas are very welcome. If you want to teach people science, rather than simply teach science to people then it makes sense to use the psychology of desire and motivation.

The premise behind the 3 acts (from scriptwriters who know a bit about human interest) is taken from the inspirational Dan Meyer – see his blog here . I wrote a post on transferring these ideas across to science here .

Fundamentally it is about creating interest that leads to action following the marketing AIDA (Thanks to the brilliant Mark Nicolaides at Purbeck School for this ) or CAB

  • Cognition (Awareness or learning)
  • Affect (Feeling, interest or desire)
  • Behavior (Action)

This also borrows from the work of Professor Mazur at Harvard University here on the benefits of interactivity and students building and solving their own problems.

Act 1: We show students something that creates a hook and arouses interest

Act 2: The students themselves build the problem – I really like Tom Harbour’s “What would happen if ..?” approach though I modify it to “What might happen if….?” Socrative and Showbie are ideal for gathering these questions. You then deliver knowledge when appropriate and guide them through to a possible solution. Ideally no one knows what the solution would be

Act 3: The reveal – A  video or demonstration reveals the answer. Ideally this will result in exclamations of “Yes!” if we have really got them engaged.

Ideas for 3 act science will be put on posts in this category. There is a google doc here that will be populated in the coming weeks , feel free to add to it, but please don’t delete anything.

Most of all please collaborate!

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