NSU science videos provide education, entertainment during social distaning


NATCHITOCHES – Dr. Michael Scanlan, professor of physics at Northwestern State University, has created a series of science videos that explore various branches of science with demonstrations and activities like growing crystals, making soap and navigating the night sky. Scanlan, father of two, said the videos are intended to educate and entertain during social isolation.

“The School of Biological and Physical Sciences is trying to help out during this time by offering activities, experiments, demonstrations and general nonsense for free on our Facebook page and YouTube channel,” Scanlan said. “It’s part of our initiative to make life a little less boring during the quarantine, during the isolation that you may have.  We are trying to break the monotony and give you ideas for things that you can actually do.”

Users can follow Northwestern State School of Biological and Physical Sciences on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NSULASciences) where there is a Facebook Videos playlist. They can also be accessed at NSULA Sciences on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4R1m4dqaZiWWAveMjRV_GA/featured) and are linked to @NSULA Sciences on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. All content is free.

Scanlan launched the video series last year and invited viewers to submit questions on science-related topics that interested them. The videos are intended to engage individuals of any age who are interested in any branch of science — physical science, life science or Earth science with topics related to biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, ecology, geology or astronomy.  Some experiments require adult supervision.

Scanlan converted his research lab in Fournet Hall into a small studio and enlisted a student crew to help produce the videos. He does all the editing, having taught himself how to use the Adobe Creative Suite.

“We just want to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to have some science education and entertainment during these social distancing times,” he said.

Scanlan can be reached at scanlanm@nsula.edu.