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Behind the Scenes at MIT;

“Behind the Scenes at MIT” is a collection of short videos that feature MIT researchers explaining how a textbook chemistry topic is essential to their research and to an inspiring real-world application. There are currently twelve science videos, which can be searched by chemistry topic (i.e. atomic theory, bonding, acid-base equilibrium) or by research application. A set of accompanying personal videos, one for each scientist featured, illustrates the journeys to becoming a scientist. Some of these videos highlight challenges that have been overcome, such as dealing with learning disabilities, growing up gay and intellectual in a conservative small town, and having to learn English in order to understand science class. Our goals in creating these videos were to bring the excitement of MIT research into the chemistry classroom and to illuminate both the why and the who of chemistry. These videos are intended to help motivate students to learn chemistry, inspire students to tackle important scientific problems in their future careers, and expose students to the many faces of chemistry. The videos can be viewed online or downloaded for use in the classroom. Each science video is under three minutes, and the personal videos are three to five minutes in length. Teachers are welcome to use any or all of our videos in their classrooms. Video creation was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institue (HHMI) through an HHMI Professors Grant to Professor Cathy Drennan and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Collection videos

Darcy Wanger's Personal Story

Darcy Wanger's Personal Story

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:02:53 | 5745 views |

Darcy describes her realization that science is not something “done—in the past tense” by people long ago, but rather an exciting pursuit that requires social interactions to solve current real-world questions.

Labeling Tumors with Quantum Dots

Labeling Tumors with Quantum Dots

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:02:50 | 5756 views |

Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor crystals with vivid colors that can be used as visual labels in biology and medicine. Quantum dots excited by UV radiation emit light with an energy and color that is determined by the size of the quan...

Lourdes Aleman's Personal Story

Lourdes Aleman's Personal Story

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:02:57 | 5315 views |

Lourdes, a Cuban-American, shares her greatest source of inspiration throughout her journey to becoming a scientist, a story of her father’s remarkable perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Designing Probes to Image Proteins Inside Living Cells 2.0

Designing Probes to Image Proteins ...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:02:53 | 5493 views |

Samuel discusses his research on designing new tools to track the movement of proteins within cells. He explains how understanding the relationship between pKa and pH was critical for the design of a new sensor, which he hopes can be use...

Detecting Explosives to Save Lives in War Zone

Detecting Explosives to Save Lives ...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:03:33 | 5204 views |

Stefanie explains how her research on designing sensors for explosives depends on the principles of VSEPR (valence shell electron pair repulsion) theory. Stefanie’s sensor design amplifies small-scale changes in bond angles following int...

See all 24 videos

Collection details

Cambridge, MA
Behind the Scenes at MIT (