PBS/WGBH/Nova models The Elegant Universe with multimedia online

Author Information
Author(s): 
Janet Moore
Author(s): 
The Sloan Consortium
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Nova Science Programming
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Nova Science Programming's "The Elegant Universe" models effective multimedia, while narrating the Theory of Everything (T.O.E), also known as string theory: the theory of large and small.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

For gauging the effectiveness of the The Elegant Universe web resources, a good approach is to visit and see for yourself. WGBH (Boston's PBS televsions station) collects quantitative and qualitative data on visits to the site. Quantitatively, in the first 3 weeks after the documentary aired on October 28 and November 4, 2003, the site attracted significant visits: 1,832,111 page views from 666,555 distinct IPs. Qualitative impressions are collected via the testimonials of visitors; a few from the hundreds who have commented as of November 2003 include these: This program was very informative and extraordinarily well produced. Presenting string theory in this way is by no means an easy task. The fact that it is available online is extremely valuable. In fact, I was unable to see it when it aired on television. I should add that the web interface is excellent. Thank you. I have always loved PBS's programming on science with shows like Stephen Hawking's Universe and The Elegant Universe. I knew that this program would air, but I missed it on TV and forgot to tape it. Finding out that I could watch it online was great. I've loved the program, and I think PBS should continue to provide programming online for people to watch anytime, anywhere. I just watched the first hour of The Elegant Universe. I would like to say that this is one of the highest quality productions I've ever seen, and to simply thank you for making it available on the internet. Thank you. This program was very informative and extraordinarily well produced. Presenting string theory in this way is by no means an easy task. The fact that it is available online is extremely valuable. In fact, I was unable to see it when it aired on television. I should add that the web interface is excellent. I love the series "The elegant universe" on KPBS; addtional information on the web site makes it easier to get familiar with this mind-breaking idea. Bravo! I'm completely getting fascinated! It was an awesome program, especially because we can watch it online. Please add more programs to online "watching"This NOVA is gorgeous! I missed the first half-hour and was thrilled to find it online. I will recommend this to others (especially my sister who lives where it is hard to get any PBS.) I read the book. After watching the first two parts, my husband is going to read the book too. GREAT JOB PBS! I am a teacher and will be using some of your activities in the classroom for YOUNG students-in the sixth grade-who are interested in this stuff. The activities turns the difficult concepts covered into ones they can even grasp. Please tell those who created the activities that they did a magnificent job. I accidentaly caught the tail end of "The Elegant Universe" in the wee hours of the morning and I was disappointed that I had missed the begining of the show. Now to my delight I can view it on line and I can even just see the chapters I missed. I think this is also a marvelous opportunity for teachers to 'assign' some homework that will be a little more exciting than is usual. I'm busily notifying everyone I know of this fantasic show on the web. I do hope you are able to continue this service in the future. I often miss the regular broadcasts of Nova and I'm thrilled at the possiblity that I can 'catch up' on line, or at least 'pre-view' a show before I purchase a copy for my library. Thanks again for great service.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

learning effectiveness: Nova Science Programming's website, titled "The Elegant Universe," models the effectiveness of multimedia, while narrating the Theory of Everything (T.O.E), also known as string theory: the theory of large and small. A novice's introduction to physics, the image of filaments vibrating with energy is also a thought-provoking metaphor for the generation. The Elegant Univerise is for learners of all ages, replete with resources for teaching and learning. The site provides transcripts, assignments, animations, interactivities, links to related sites and references, and technical support. Each segment provides memorable cinematography, narrative, and audio including music--and inspires lasting wonder and curiosity.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

The resources are freely available to people who have access to the Internet. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft. Additional funding for NOVA is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. Major funding for "The Elegant Universe" is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation, with additional funding from the Department of Energy and from Volkswagen of America, Inc. Promotional Sponsor for The Elegant Universe: SEED Magazine

References, supporting documents: 

Superstrings and the Search for the Theory of Everything by F. David Peat. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc., 1988

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Karen Hartley
Email this contact: 
NOVA_teachers@wgbh.org