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Using superhero movies to teach methods and values in science
This article takes on a very important subject in science education and I believe that it is done in such a way to keep the reader interested and stay relevant with current trends. Just months after the blockbuster smash, Avengers: Endgame, this articles takes us into a world of our favorite super heroes to talk about a super subject, the nature of science!
I'll admit that when I started this article, I was confused as to how they were going to connect the nature of science with the Marvel Universe. They did so flawlessly and picked up more interesting information along the way to keep the reader engaged and aware. One such piece of information was the mentioning of how students can relate to the younger characters in the comic movies, relating them to the STEM heavy teenagers featured in Iron Man 3 and Spiderman: Homecoming. I liked that the article went on to say that although "these examples are fictional, teachers could highlight noteworthy behaviors that align with NGSS practices such as questioning, investigating, and communicating information." (Nice plug to the NGSS). This information can get students engaged in science, just as their on-screen counterparts are.
Another piece of information that I enjoyed in this article is featured in Figure 2, and discussed in the following paragraphs. In this figure, the article goes on to introduce a list of science-related characters in Marvel films. This is not why I enjoyed this figure though, I liked it because it takes on the idea of the nature of science and shows how diverse and widespread the science field in portrayed in the movies. This is done by listing the characters and their occupation as well as their ethnicity. I think this is important in understanding the nature of science because students must understand that science is a collaborative effort and scientists of any gender or nationality can contribute. This information was followed up by resources that teachers could present from real-world sources to ground their lessons back into reality.
There was not much that I didn't like about the article. One thing that felt a little distant to me was the example of how to use the movies themselves as examples in the classroom. I didn't particularly like the example they used for this part of the article. Although, they did mention a full list of movie scenes and instructional prompts on their website, I felt that a better example could have been used or multiple examples to give teachers more of an idea of what to expect and use in the classroom. The ending felt stale in that respect, in a way that makes it hard to implement this technique after reading the article, the motivation fades off.
With that being said, my other dislike would be the length. This article only had three full pages of text, I felt that there was more information to explore, and more qualities of the nature of science that are present in these movies that were not brought up. But overall, if all I can complain about is article length and a lack of examples on one topic, then I think this article did a very good job.
This article was very relevant to today's media and how science can be taught, and because there are additional examples online I think this article deserves a 5/5. Thank you!!
Cameron Mackowski (Hartville, OH)