Interactive Biology Youtuber Leslie Samuels – Making Biology Fun!

Interactive Biology YouTuber Leslie Samuels – Making Biology Fun! – submitted by Leila Knetsch

After watching ASAP Science’s excellent 12 min video, ” We need to talk about diversity in science” , I realized that almost 100% of the videos that I was showing in Science class were of white males.  Not only that, but they all had American, Canadian, British or Australian accents.  During the pandemic, I tried to change and update some of my videos but clicking on and viewing more of the videos when I searched for a topic.

In this way, I found other YouTubers that have become my top choices.   Two of these are Teacher’s Pet and Amoeba Sisters.  One of the things that I enjoy about Amoeba Sisters is that also have handouts that ask students to consolidate their learning and they have cute graphics. I definitely keep showing my favourites such as Crash Course Biology with Hank Green (although honestly he speaks too quickly for me to understand every single word – ESL/ELL learners definitely have trouble with his videos).  It should be pointed out that although science teachers are familiar with Hank Green and his brother John, there are actually many series.  Two of the more recent hosts are Emily Graslie and Sabrina Cruz.  There is a foreign language series hosted byYasser Abumuailek.  Some of the more popular YouTubers are trying to diversify as they expand.

Last week, I did my own search for Biology videos and found an interesting mix, including Interactive Biology, featuring scientist Leslie Samuel.  Leslie Samuel is from St. Maarten in the Caribbean, has a Masters in Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology.  This is perfect given that is an area that I am not an expert in.  Here is some background information about Leslie Samuel.  I like his infectious enthusiasm, he has a light Caribbean accent (students need to know that scientists come from everywhere around the world) and shares his obvious love of Biology.

He has lecture style videos but he also has reaction videos where he reacts to popular medical shows such as the Good Doctor (Dr. Shaun Murphy is a surgeon with autism that has to prove himself every day on the job).   Leslie Samuels wants people to discover biology in everyday life.   This particular video reacting to can be used to connect to Grade 11U Biology – Physiology Unit.  This is the 12 min reaction video where he reacts to the pilot episode – Dr. Shaun Murphy’s first day of work as a surgical resident.  Leslie comments on the video and stops the video to explain the biology behind this.  I haven’t shown TV shows in class, partly because the medical pieces are small pieces between the drama that unfolds.  Reaction videos such as this makes it more strongly connected to the curriculum in a short amount of time.  I look forward to discovering and using Interactive Biology in my Biology classes!