Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy"

Activity overview:

In our very first edition of "Tuesdays with Bill," Bill (with an assist from Kiera) goes back to the beginning and tells the story of how "Bill Nye the Science Guy" came to be.

Do you want to ask Bill a question for a future "Tuesdays with Bill?" Click here to learn how to submit: (http://goo.gl/Joiqzo).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/how-bill-nye-became-the-science-guy

Follow Big Think here:
YouTube: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigthink

Transcript - Kiera: Hi my name is Kiera and my question for you is what was your influence to start Bill Nye. Like did someone ask you to or why do you still continue it?

Bill Nye: Kiera that’s a great question. Let the record show I did not cue Kiera to ask this question. She said why did I start doing the science guy. So I had very influential teachers. I had great teachers when I was in school. And then I got a job at Boeing in Seattle. It was a long way. I grew up back East. I grew up in Washington D.C. For those of you not in North America, I went 5,000 kilometers from home, 3,000 miles from home. And I didn’t really know anybody. I started – I was a Big Brother, a United Way Big Brother, and I started volunteering at the Pacific Science Center which is still there, one of my beloved institutions. And I was a science explainer because I’m a mechanical engineer. I took a lot of science. I especially took a lot of physics. I took a lot of physics. And so I was a science explainer and it was fun. And then I was w jet, a navigation system for business jets that was going to be two-thirds as big as the one it was going to compete with in the marketplace you can’t do that in three months. And these guys were obsessed with it. And I just decided I wanted to effect the future.

I wanted to affect people like you Kiera. And I was in a writer’s meeting and we needed six minutes of – not only was I working on a drawing board making just tiny, very precise instruments that can detect the gravitational pull of the moon every day. Not only was I doing that, I was writing jokes for a comedy show in Seattle. And we had to fill six minutes which in television is a long time. And this guy who’s still just a dear friend of mine, Ross Shafer, said why don’t you do that stuff you’re always talking about Bill. That stuff about the science. You could be, I don’t know, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, or something. Ross Shafer is the guy’s name. And then he left. He had to go do his radio show. He was a DJ in Seattle. And I thought that’s a good idea. So I did that. Household uses of liquid nitrogen because, you know, we all have liquid nitrogen around. Of course we do. And it was funny. And that led to this – I had this idea. I want to be the next television science communicator. The next television science educator. I grew up with a guy named Don Herbert whose theatrical name was Mr. Wizard. He was just a great guy and I wanted to carry the torch. And I’m just delighted that you watch the show. I love you Kiera. Thank you.

Tagged under: Bill Nye,Tuesdays Bill,Bill Nye Science Guy,teachers,influential,school,Washington D.C.,United Way Big Brother,Pacific Science Center,science explainer,mechanical engineer,physics,profits,publishing,design,navigation systems,marketplace,future,gravitational pull,moon,jokes,writing,comedy show,Seattle,television,Ross Shafer,science,liquid nitrogen,Don Herbert,Mr. Wizard,Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy" on Google+ Share How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy" on Twitter Share How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy" on Facebook Pin How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy" Email How Bill Nye Became "The Science Guy"

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.


Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking


Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices


Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome