Happy Thanksgiving! Since we've got a holiday this week, I thought I'd mix it up a little by reviewing a great science album for kids, Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants. If you're like me, you remember They Might Be Giants from the days when they were recording songs like Istanbul for adults. Now they have several albums for kids that are fun, educational, and often very funny.
This CD is also available as a DVD that contains videos for each song. The videos have been posted on YouTube, but I hope that you'll support these artists if you love the songs as much as I do by purchasing some form of the music.
Some of the songs on this album actually seemed vaguely political and/or seemed to be more interested in proving a point or persuading people that, for instance, "Science is Real." (Although I agree with their viewpoints, I don't know that anybody who discredits scientific principles is going to be persuaded by kid rock songs, no matter how catchy they may be.) And things get confusing when they have a song about how the sun is a ball of gas, followed immediately by a song about how the sun is NOT a ball of gas. Which I understand from a scientific point of view thanks to this NASA link, but why confuse kids?
My favorite songs were the ones who dispensed with the politics and persuasion (and gas ball confusion) and went straight for the science in the most understandable way possible. So, without further ado, I give you my top 9 songs from Here Comes Science:
1. Meet the Elements
3. Roy G. Biv
4. I Am a Paleontologist
5. What Is a Shooting Star?
7. Speed and Velocity
8. Solid Liquid Gas
Are there scientific inaccuracies in each of these videos? Probably. (One that jumped out at me was that the stars are in front of the clouds in What Is a Shooting Star.) But parents and teachers can use any errors as just one more teaching tool. "What is wrong with this picture?"
My bottom line: Anything that makes science more accessible, understandable, and fun to kids gets my stamp of approval.