Ross School cultural history teacher James Earle has been working with a group of students to create educational videos for YouTube about great works of art—and their efforts have reaped national recognition. Their channel, “Amor Sciendi,” was recently selected for YouTube’s prestigious EDU Gurus award.
Teaming up with Khan Academy, another education channel, YouTube held a contest to find the best content creators explaining tough concepts in compelling ways. James and his students, along with nine other lucky winners, were selected from a field of a thousand applicants. These 10 YouTube EDU Gurus will receive training, promotion, and a gift card to be used for production equipment.
“We started doing the channel for fun this summer. Then we applied for this contest and got picked,” said James, who was subsequently invited to attend an education summit in Los Angeles this week that will include Khan Academy, VSauce, Veritasium, and various other educational heavy hitters on YouTube.
“Educational videos on YouTube represent a return to the essence of what education should be. Students browse educational videos because they love knowledge, and that’s where we get our name from,” James explains in the channel’s introductory video.
“Amor Sciendi” is produced by James along with seniors Kate Nelson and Gavin Nelson, junior Orrin Frazier, and sophomore Will Greenberg. They draw inspiration from three beliefs: that great works of art can be appreciated for their beauty and style, apart from the biographies of their creators; that these works, standing alone, can represent the hopes and fears of an entire culture, not just one person; and that creativity comes from many places.
The group has produced nearly a dozen videos on everything from understanding physics using Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring to discussing the role of astrology in Renaissance medicine while looking at Durer’s Melencolia I.