What is the project?
Science Is For Me is about exploring and understanding big science ideas through music. The album is written with the input of science educators (thanks ASTC community of practice!), early childhood teachers (thanks Mills education cohort!), families with young children (thanks WonderLab community!), professional scientists (thanks Concerned Scientist @ IU and beyond!), and talented musicians (thanks Alex, Joel, Kristi, and more!).
Why a science album? What will it be like?
Science matters, and children knowing that science is FOR them - a tool they can use, a field they can study, a force that can make the world a better place - matters even more. As a teacher, I know that science education for very young children is hard to find and rarely both developmentally appropriate and accurate (I’m lookin’ at you Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!). This album aims to present accurate science (and I’ve recruited dozens of professional scientists to make sure I get it right!) in engaging ways that promote understanding scientific processes and big ideas. What do I mean? Here are some examples of big science ideas, and how songs on the album explore them:
- Scientific discovery is a process without an end: The chorus of one song goes “But there’s always more to discover, another question and another and another, more to wonder. An answer is just a door to something more.”
- Getting things wrong is okay, that is how we learn: Wait, what sounds did dinosaurs make?! I might have gotten it wrong on my first album, but we take this opportunity to explore how scientists are always learning new information and adding to our understanding - and just because you’ve heard something in a song or seen it in a movie, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily true!
- Science identity: Research shows that science identity - seeing oneself as a “science person” - strongly impacts whether a person pursues a career in science. Building strong science identities for everyone is the aim of my song “I am a Scientist.” This song not only affirms a child’s science identity, but it does it in multiple languages. On the album, the song will be sung in a round by native speakers of Spanish, English, and Mandarin Chinese.
- Sometimes you just need to go the frick to sleep! I’ve written a soothing and hypnotic lullaby called “We Need Sleep” all about why sleep is so important for everyone. Perhaps it will convince our little Einsteins to close their eyes.
- Learning from observing: “Bug Hunt” is a song that challenges children to use all their senses to notice signs of insects in the world around them. How many can they find!?
These are just a few examples of the 12+ original tracks that make up Science Is For Me.
Who are you?
I’m Emmy! a science educator, early childhood specialist, and award winning children’s musician. You can see some of my science teaching here, read some of my early childhood education philosophy here, and hear some of my music here! I also literally wrote my graduate school thesis on how teachers use recorded music in the preschool classroom - so here’s hoping all that research helps make this album a great tool for teachers as well. That is the intention!
How will all that money be spent?
I have carefully budgeted for this project. The majority of the funds will be used to record, mix, and master the album; which will happen at Russian Recording in Bloomington, IN. Additional funds will support some of the amazing artists who are partnering with me on this project: Ben Meraz (album cover photography), Anna Brown (video production - didn’t she do an amazing job on the Kickstarter video!?), Sophia Chryssovergis (design - check out her awesome logo for my t-shirts and tote bags...don’t you want one, or two, or seven?), Joel Knopf (guitar and arranging), Ben Lumsdaine (percussion), and Alex Kruckman (piano and arranging).
What is the timeline for this project?
If we reach our funding goals, I intend to head into the studio in April/May 2019 with the aim of releasing the album in July 2019.
How can I support Science Is For Me?
I’m glad you asked! 1) Please donate to Science Is For Me at a level that is meaningful to you. Your donation helps spread sound science education, and you also get some pretty fun rewards (more info to the right). 2) Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about this project. Share why you choose to support Science Is For Me and what makes it special. 3) See the lower right for some non-monetary assistance this album needs, including a variety of musicians willing to work for delicious homemade snacks and oodles of gratitude.
Finally, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for reading what I have to say, thank you for caring about science and science education, and thank you so much for supporting this project. I truly believe that what we are doing here is unique and important and I can’t wait to share this finished album with you and the world.
Risks and challenges
The process of recording an album is complex and multifaceted. Luckily, this will be my second album, which means I have experienced and learned from this process before. Additionally, I’m not going it alone and have some amazing collaborators to help see this album through to completion. The most realistic risk is a delay in my proposed release date (July 2019) due to unforeseen issues. If a delay does occur I will be transparent about the issue and give my supporters plenty of updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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