Phylm: Make a film about physics!


Phylm /’film/ n. [physics + film]

The fifth annual Phylm Prize is now open! Until May 13, anyone can enter a film — though students are especially encouraged — about physics. Year three’s winners were a set of students with the Special Relativity Rap. The second year was Science Made Fun about black holes (which I’ve inserted below), and year one was a kind of crazy video with a guy breaking flaming boards with his hand, using the Leidenfrost effect. When you drop water into a skillet and the beads dance across the surface — that’s the Leidenfrost effect. The beads of water are insulated from the hot pan because the liquid evaporates before it boils, creating a vapor layer that insulates the rest of the water from the pan. Anyway…

Last year they had a tie for first place, from Henry Reich’s Minute Physics and Derek Muller’s Both are part of a larger set of videos — check them out. These could be useful for people wanting to do some version, even a small-scale version, of the Flipped Classroom. Below is one of the winning videos, from Derek Muller, on misconceptions about why astronauts float. I think this is brilliant.

Interestingly, Derek Muller even has a short video on the Khan Academy (see it here). He’s clearly well-versed in the physics education literature, and very thoughtful about what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what he says about Khan …

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