Billions and billions of TV seasons ago, Carl Sagan brought science to the masses with his blockbuster series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.” One of the most popular series ever to air on public television, Sagan used the series as a digital classroom, sharing the wonder of science with over 500 million viewers in more than 60 countries.
We love the teaching motif, which is still evident in the spectacular new version of the series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.” Hosted by noted astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the series was described as “gorgeous, both for the eyes and the brain,” by Slate’s Phil Plait.
In our view, anything that piques curiosity about science is a good thing. Classroom teachers may not have the awesome special effects of “Cosmos” at their fingertips, but there are definitely ways to spark the interest of a whole new generation of would-be scientists.
In an interview with Jay Price of the Raleigh News & Observer published yesterday, Tyson says,"Science literacy is knowing how to ask questions. That’s really all it is."
Also, in the opening of the series premiere Tyson says “This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules: test ideas by experiment and observation … and question everything.”
Experiment. Observe. Question. Sounds a lot like the style of learning VISTA promotes.