The great science movie


This is a team activity that runs over a semester. The goal is to make a movie where all the main topics or concepts of the subject are covered so it can be used as a good revision tool for studying for an exam. Every group has to make a short movie with an experiment in it to explain a concept or topic. At the end of the semester all the short clips are edited into one movie.

Main subject areas and topics

In Belgium in the second year of secondary education we have a subject called “Scientific Work” which covers a lot of basic themes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, theoretically and practically (work in the lab). A few topics are: gravity, Archimedes’ law, Ohm’s law, aggregation states, mass density, pressure, forces, sound, light, working with microscopes, biotope/habitat study, separation techniques, pH…

How to do it

  • make a list of the main topics for the semester
  • divide the class into small groups
  • give every group a topic (if there are preferences, maybe give groups the topic they prefer)every time a topic has been covered during lessons, a group comes into action.

The group can work on their clip during lab lessons (and/or as homework). The following is a suggested work programme for the groups.

  • brainstorm session
  • first they make a storyboard for their clip, it has to be a short clip, so everything should be well prepared and thought through, explain that it’s allowed to make it fun (dress up for example) but that the concept or topic needs to be clearly explained
  • clips should contain: an experiment (related to real life) with every day life materials, theoretical explanation/background, a link to a website that gives more explanation or an applet, if possible a mobile app
  • they hand in the storyboard for correction
  • if it is ok, they can shoot the clip
  • if necessary they edit the clip
  • at the end of the semester all the small clips can be edited into one movie (some nice tunes, flashy transitions), maybe do this with some volunteers; doing it with the whole class would probably be too complicated


You obviously need internet access, a video camera, tripod, a mic and some of the following software is useful

For brainstorming: Dabbleboard (online, can work together simultaneously)

For storyboarding:

  • Storyboard That
  • Celtx
  • Kidsvid
  • Uscreen (advanced)

For movie editing:

  • movie maker
  • Imovie
  • Avid FreeDV
  • Wax
  • Open movie editor

– some popular (with your students) songs: ask for their contribution


Mass density experiment:

  • Compare the behaviour of a helium filled balloon with an air filled one
  • Compare the sinking or floating of a can of Coca Cola with a can of Cola Light

Explain the observations with the theory and the formula (! SI units)

Show link(s) to good websites or apps (example:, maybe put the link(s) in subtitles

Added value

When you ask student to explain something (for someone) and they can do it, you know they really understand

It’s a fun revision tool to use when studying for an exam

In Belgium, students who take Latin in the first two years of secundary education don’t have science in the curriculum, in the third year they start with chemistry and physics. This movie can be given to them to help them better understand the basics

(Made by Katleen Vanden Driessche, CVO Antwerpen, BELGIUM)







This post is also available in: Romanian

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