NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection

NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection


Wish more of your students saw science and engineering as career possibilities? These resources can help. The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers is an Emmy-nominated web-series from the acclaimed PBS series, NOVA. The series profiles today’s leading scientists—and shows what they’re like when the lab coats come off—showing viewers a human side of science that many students can relate to.

  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Neil deGrasse Tyson

    In this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers," meet astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was “called” to study the cosmos at the age of nine. Tyson describes the two events that influenced his decision to become an astrophysicist: first, a live planetarium show, and, two years later, receiving his first telescope. From then on, he was hooked. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Mayim Bialik

    In this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers," meet neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, who discusses her long-held fascination with science. As a teenager, Bialik played the title role on the television series Blossom. She explains how a biology tutor during that time inspired her to fall in love with science and pursue her science interests. While Bialik has since earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience—the science of how you think—she continues to act. Now Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the television show The Big Bang Theory. The character is considered by some to be a role model to aspiring female scientists. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

     

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Alexandrea Bowman

    Meet geology student Alexandrea Bowman in this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. Bowman explains that Native American belief, which teaches we must conserve and preserve the land for the next seven generations, has influenced her decision to study geology. She describes her research on contaminants present in Long Island Sound—specifically, mercury. Contaminants flow down rivers before settling out in the Sound. Toxic contaminants, including mercury, may end up absorbed in the fat of fish, posing a serious health risk to humans who eat the fish. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Ian Lipkin

    Meet microbe hunter Ian Lipkin in this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. As a child, Lipkin read a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories. He was inspired by Holmes to become a detective in the world of infectious diseases and find out why people get sick and what we can do about it. Through his role as script advisor on Hollywood movie sets, Lipkin has been able to explain science to the public. This work has also had a positive impact on the response to public health crises worldwide. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Maria Klawe

    In this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers," meet mathematician Maria Klawe. Even though Klawe grew up in a time when girls were not expected to excel in mathematics, for her, it came easy. She compares the process of solving difficult problems with jumping in a swimming pool when you don’t know how to swim. For years, as she was establishing her credibility as a mathematician, Klawe was a serious artist, expressing herself through painting. She describes the worry that caused her to hide this artistic side from her colleagues, and the liberation she felt when she finally revealed her works publicly. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 5-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Michio Kaku

    Meet theoretical physicist Michio Kaku in this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. Inspired by Albert Einstein, who died when Kaku was just eight years old, Kaku decided that the field of theoretical physics was for him. Kaku says he usually works only with pencil and paper and that equations dance around in his head. He’s thrilled in his pursuit of universal laws about the universe. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Judy Lee

    Meet product designer Judy Lee in this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. Lee explains that while growing up, she loved to make things and get dirty. These traits, plus a love of power tools, eventually led her to her current field: product design. Lee explains that this field offers a good balance of engineering and industrial design, practices that each engage a different half of the brain. She also tells the story of how she got her first opportunity to design a product—a play mat for the home furnishing giant IKEA—and how she put her own spin (literally) on the product. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Nate Ball

    Meet mechanical engineer and inventor Nate Ball in this video profile from The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. Ball explains how an idea for a design competition project led to his big invention: a rope-climbing device named the Atlas Power Ascender that is used in search-and-rescue operations. He describes the process used to design, build, and test the Ascender and discusses the role of failure, which is not only common in engineering but teaches valuable lessons. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Gavin Schmidt

    Meet climate scientist Gavin Schmidt in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." Gavin encourages the use of renewable to combat climate change.  Gavin explains that he uses computer models to create a virtual reality map of the earth to figure out why climate changed in the past, why it's changing now, and what it means for the future. For fun, he juggles. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Adrienne Block

    Meet geophysicist Adrienne Block in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers."  Adrienne studies global warming, and has mapped a mountain range in Antarctica beneath an ice sheet by sending out sonar signals from an airplane. She explains that water gets into ice streams from mountain ranges and helps them speed up, delivering great quantities of ice into the sea, which melts and raises the sea level. She also plays the bassoon. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Katharine Hayhoe

    Meet climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers." Katharine studies what climate change means to each of us locally. She tells us about the book, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith–Based Christians that she and her husband, an evangelical Christian pastor, wrote because so much disinformation about it is directed at them. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Mark Siddall

    Meet natural history museum curator Mark Siddall in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientsist and Engineers." Mark travels the world finding animals for study and his library of biodiversity. He tells us that a prized find was a leech that only lives in the rectums of hippos. Go figure. When he is not conducting his research, he enjoys cooking. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Laurie Santos

    Meet experimental psychologist Laurie Santos in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers." Laurie studies monkeys to learn how people think.  She explains that monkeys provide a window into what humans would be like in the absence of human culture. She also likes to photograph animals' hands and feet as a different way of looking at them. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Caryn Babaian

    Meet biology professor Caryn Babaian in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers." Caryn uses art to help her students learn about biology and living systems.  She explains that, "The person who draws a leaf will tell you a lot more than the person who just looked at it." She is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Eva Vertes

    Meet cancer researcher Eva Vertes in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers." Eva studies how cancer arises, moves through the body, and resists therapy. She explains that after she won an international science fair as a teenager, she wanted to do more research. To relax, she runs, and finds similarities between running and research. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Ina Vanderbroek

    Meet ethnobotanist Ina Vanderbroek in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." Ina studies how people use medicinal plants for healing. She explains how she creates a guidebook of the plants to help doctors treat their patients better. The TV series Star Trek influenced her to become a scientist. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Erika Ebbel

    Meet biochemist Erika Ebbel in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." Erika studies Huntington's disease, examining plasma, urine, cerebrospinal fluid for clues to a cure. Before becoming a scientist, she competed in beauty pageants to learn skills that are useful in everyday life. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Mollie Woodworth

    Meet neuroscientist Molly Woodworth in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." Mollie hopes to someday direct brain stem cells to become neurons that cure neurological disease or injury.  She explains her work with mouse brains and brain proteins. She also has a cheerleading background. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Jean Berko Gleason

    Meet psycholinguist Jean Berko Gleason in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." Jean studies how people acquire, produce, retrieve, and sometimes lose language. She discusses that work and her interest in the different ways parents talk to boys and girls. In her spare time, she likes to drive—fast. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Rachel Collins

    Meet microbiologist Rachel Collins in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers." Rachel studies the effectiveness of various antibiotics against different bacteria. As a child, she spent her weekends in a lab with her father who was a chemist. Now she spends her weekends as a professional wrestler. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

    Grades: 6-12

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