Science Rap Battles Encourage Students To Learn!
A new program at New York's Park East High School has students participating in science rap battles!
In December of 2012, the school participated in a Pilot Program developed by Dr. Chris Emdin from Columbia University's Teachers College.
The program aims to encourage science education by having the students engage in a hip-hop competition with raps about science.
For years, students have used rhyming schemes and mnemonics as memorization tools. With Emdin's program, it just took that idea a step further!
9th grade students at the school were encouraged to pick a subject and construct a rap about it for the end-of-the-year rap battle.
To inspire the kids, the schools brought in famous rappers, such as GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, to get the kids excited about science.
The students had to learn the material front the back to construct their rhymes. When they rapped, they didn't only prove what they'd learned, but also taught others in the process.
"Everybody can relate to hip-hop," one participating student says in a video about the program, "Not a lot of people can relate to science, so when you put them together it just becomes something beautiful."
Another student tells the reporter "If rapping doesn't become a thing for me, I want to become a brain surgeon."
"The people who most embrace hip-hop culture are the same populations who are most disinterested in school and disinterested in science," Dr. Emdin explains.
During this program, the students who participated saw their grades improve, and became more likely to show up to school as well as participate in class.
Integrating hip-hop culture with the class got students interested in a way that they never were before! We hope the program continues to succeed in the future.