Science Videos for Schools – Bringing Science to Life in the Classroom


Science is an incredibly diverse topic which calls for equally diverse learning delivery, not to mention a degree of creativity on the part of the teacher to really engage their students. Demonstrations and experiments are of course a great way to get students involved and reinforce the subject matter, but every teacher knows that there’s a limit to what can be taught via practical experience in the classroom. BBC Active’s wide range of science videos for schools can help to fill that gap and give students a virtual first-hand view which makes for much more stimulating, effective and memorable learning. Each of our science videos comes with the non-theatric licence you need to give you the rights to show BBC content in your school. Digital licensing is also available should you wish to use our content in an online environment.

science videos picture of brainHere’s a selection of our science videos for schools to give you some ideas for your own lesson plans.

In Search of Science

Professor Brian Cox, one of the most engaging presenters and respected scientists of our time, retraces the steps of some of his own scientific heroes in this 3-part series of science videos. He recreates some of their pioneering experiments and looks at the processes that went into their discoveries, discoveries which are still shaping science today. He gives us a guided tour of science and scientists from Isaac Newton right through to today’s cutting-edge research at CERN as well as looking at where science may lead us in the future.

Horizon: The Battle in Your Mind

This video from the BBC’s flagship science strand investigates the battle between intuition and logic which takes place in our minds with every decision we make. Professor Danny Kahneman looks at the latest knowledge of how the human mind works with somewhat surprising results. For all we may think we are logical and rational beings, he finds that our intuition influences us more than we may realise.

Horizon: How to Make Better Decisions

Is there an equation by which to live a successful life? Philosopher and mathematician Garth Sundem thinks there is and he sets out to explain it in this fascinating video. That intuitive part of our mind we mentioned earlier so often plays a part in the bad decisions we all make, but it is excluded when we base our decisions purely on mathematics as Sundem’s philosophy advocates.

Horizon: The Power of Placebo

Surely one of the most striking examples of our mind playing tricks on us is the placebo effect? Pills without any active ingredients which should have no effect on the patients taking them are actually being used with startling success to treat a range of complaints and illnesses from depression to Parkinson’s – and all because the person taking them believes they are being given effective drugs for their condition. How can this possibly happen? This science video investigates.

Horizon: Living with Autism

More than 1 in 100 people in the UK are thought to be on the autism spectrum. Though some of us may initially think of autism as a disability, it is perhaps more accurate to think of it as a condition which causes the brain to work in a different way; indeed, many autistic people are very high-functioning individuals with powers of amazing recall. The strikingly different way in which the autistic brain works compared to most people’s brains can unlock many secrets which help us to gain a better understanding of this, the most amazing human organ. Professor Uta Frith of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Department of Psychology at University College London has been studying autism for 50 years and presents this absorbing insight with the help of some of the remarkable characters who have taken part in her research.

Horizon: Sugar v Fat

What’s behind the modern-day phenomenon we call the obesity epidemic and the health problems it causes? Is a higher sugar content in our diets to blame? Or is fatty convenience food the culprit? Twin brothers and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken embark on a month-long experiment to find the answer. One embarks on a high-sugar diet and the other on a high-fat diet, using their identical genetic makeup as a baseline to measure the effect of their respective diets on their bodies after four weeks of extreme eating.


Science videos Hands and FeetHands & Feet

You certainly can’t dissect a human hand or foot in the classroom but this 2-episode series of science videos does just that, looking layer by layer at their parts and the intricate way in which they work. George McGavin is joined by specialist anatomists to show and how our hands have enabled us to manipulate items with such amazing dexterity, setting us apart from practically every other creature on earth.

BBC Active’s science videos for schools cover just about every branch of science and make a valuable addition to any classroom to complement teacher-led learning. So whatever topic you are covering, take a look through our collection for some inspiring programmes to bring science to life in your classroom.