Did you ever wonder how something works? I mean really wonder, to the point it becomes an obsession.
Bob Schneeveis is an inventor who really had to know how the human knee works. So he set out to build his own. The result is a marvelous contraption consisting of a robotic human body pulling a chariot. You can watch Bob’s story in this wonderful short documentary by Mike Attie here
Mr. Attie’s film should make us all think about how we educate our children and ourselves. Humans are visual learners. We learn by watching others and then experimenting on our own. If the experiment does not go as planned, we watch someone else to see how they do it. Then we try again. This is pretty primitive stuff. This is how our ancestors learned to hunt and survive. This is how people figure out how things work in the real world, like Bob Schneeveis trying to understand the human knee. Yet we do not consistently educate this way. There is very little watching and experimenting compared to the hours of power points and lectures we subject ourselves to as a human race.
I don’t know how to fix this situation. But I do know that I would prefer to watch a short film like the one mentioned here rather than suffer through fifty power point slides trying to describe how the knee works. We are visual creatures and we should be exploiting this characteristic when we educate. Video should be a tool used in every classroom where direct hands-on experimentation is not feasible.