Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Science has, both historically and recently, been a subject that comes easy to some and hard to others, and it is hard to develop a genuine interest in and appreciation for something that is as complicated and hard to understand as physics or high-level chemistry. That is why channels like MinuteEarth are so crucial, because they allow people, even young children, to understand science on a basic level, thus allowing them to one day develop an interest in it.
MinuteEarth is a YouTube channel that explores concepts like deep sea gigantism (which is the tendency for animals to get larger as they live deeper and deeper in the ocean) in a short, 3-4 minute video about it. This makes their content digestible and easy to understand on a basic level, and that digestibility makes their content available to children.
Channels like MinuteEarth can act as a gateway to bigger and broader interests for children. Sure, a student might not like learning about the way that trees grow in 5th grade science, which in turn might limit the amount of interest they have in the subject. That being said, imagine if instead of limiting science as “that one boring subject about how trees grow,” it could be expanded to include things like how the human mind works, or how the theory of evolution was conceived. Those subjects might pique the interest of the student, and by doing that, the door has been opened to a myriad of other topics in that same vein.
What makes their content so digestible? Two things. The first is that their content is, as referenced before, bite-sized. Nobody wants to sit down and listen to a lecture about the intricacies of the human mind unless they are already interested in the subject, but someone might want to watch a short 3-4 minute animation about it while they are waiting for the bus ride to school or sitting in the backseat of a car.
Overall, MinuteEarth allows people who would otherwise never even look at science as a subject and reexamine it, and thus develop a broader understanding of the subject as a whole. Like the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes said: Knowledge is power.