Rapping About Science: Watch High School Senior Jabari Johnson Talk Physics with Poetic Lyrics

Christo­pher Emdin, an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor at Teach­ers Col­lege, Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, loves to rap. And he loves using rap to teach kids all about sci­ence. That’s why he helped put togeth­er B.A.T.T.L.E.S., a New York City-wide com­pe­ti­tion that chal­lenges stu­dents to put sci­en­tif­ic con­cepts into lyri­cal raps. The kids were up to the task and rapped about every­thing from “rock sci­ence, nat­ur­al selec­tion and genet­ics to how mate­ri­als freeze or melt.” And the win­ner — Jabari John­son, a senior from Urban Assem­bly School for the Per­form­ing Arts in Harlem — was named on June 21, after the final com­pe­ti­tion took place on the Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus. John­son will now have a chance to make a pro­fes­sion­al record­ing of his song about Kinet­ic Ener­gy and post it on the Rap Genius web­site.

via Colum­bia

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Great­ness of Charles Dar­win Explained with Rap Music

The Large Hadron Col­lid­er Rap, Yo

The Hayek vs. Keynes Rap

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  • bryan says:

    I can’t say that I am impressed. Work is work and that is all there is to say. He had a good time and prob­a­bly learned a fair amount in the process, but I don’t believe any­one else that learns the song will under­stand the con­cepts.
    Edu­ca­tion should be rel­e­vant, but when being rel­e­vant is the goal in and of itself, it achieves very lit­tle.

  • Karen says:

    I have to respect­ful­ly dis­agree with Bryan since I can’t imag­ine that the goal was to teach some­one physics through a song. If instead, as I posit, the goal was to demon­strate the student/performer’s grasp of the con­cept of kinet­ic ener­gy, I think he suc­ceed­ed admirably. I loved the way he trans­lat­ed it into a metaphor for his own ‘phys­i­cal’ state, and laughed out loud for the sheer joy of it.

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