2016 Children's Science News - Gold


Anna Rothschild engaged her early adolescent viewers with a series of brightly written pieces about the microbial culprits behind cavities, a clever homemade microscope that can be used to view the denizens of pond scum, and a frank and informative discussion of menstrual periods. “Funny, compelling, intriguingly gross and hugely informative—the videos written, edited, animated and narrated by the multi-talented Anna Rothschild do a marvelous job of conveying science in a form that is kid-friendly and likely to stick in young brains,” said Claudia Wallis, managing editor of Scientific American Mind. “The three submissions were wildly different but consistently strong.” Rothschild’s exploration of the biology of menstruation, which she called “not so gross” science, was timed to St. Valentine’s Day. “I’m so romantic,” she interjected. The piece emphasized that periods are “a totally normal part of life that are experienced by about half the population.”  Her do-it-yourself microscope used the lens from a laser pointer and a cell phone’s camera to make a simple device that can readily reveal a variety of organisms swimming around in a few drops of water. And for a program named “Gross Science,” what better targets of opportunity for viewing than a bit of ear wax and some dust from under the bed? The segment on cavities noted that the microbes in the biofilm on your teeth, called plaque, really love sugar. “So, when you suck on a lollipop, you’re not the only one getting a tasty treat,” Rothschild told her viewers. “I first fell in love with science while doing ‘gross’ experiments in my middle school biology class,” Rothschild said. “By exploring the slimy, smelly underbelly of nature, medicine, and technology in my videos, I hope to help future generations of students develop a passion for science, too.”

“What Really Causes Cavities?”

Jan. 25, 2016 (Transcript)

“See Microbes with this DIY Microscope”

Jan. 4, 2016 (Transcript)

“Three Surprising Questions About Periods”

Feb. 10, 2016 (Transcript)