Clever! Who would have thought to use reality TV to promote STEM education. From Audrey Watters … Online Video Meets STEM Education, with MIT's New Reality TV Series:
MIT is unveiling the trailer today for a new reality TV series (of sorts) – ChemLab Boot Camp – that follows 14 freshmen through its 5.301 Introductory Lab Techniques course. The four-week-long class is offered in January as part of the Chemistry major. The stakes with 5.301 are high – students who pass the class are guaranteed a job in a research lab at the university.
As such, the new show could be seen as an infomercial for the MIT campus experience. And as the project was underwritten by the Dow Chemical Company, it’s certainly good promotional material for that company and, more generally, the MIT chemistry major. But the reality TV show is also a commercial of sorts for hands-on learning and for the joys and frustrations of working in a research lab.